Q&A WITH AMY SHEPPARD ABOUT HER #KISSMYFATASS MOVEMENT

We interviewed Amy Sheppard, musician and women’s activist, about her #KissMyFatAss movement that she created through Instagram!

1. Hi Amy! We find the #KissMyFatAss movement so inspiring and so needed. Tell us about what inspired this movement? Was there anything specific that prompted you to start it?

It all began when I was scrolling through my camera roll looking for a photo to upload. I came across a photo I really loved but my butt was looking really dimply. I was thinking about ways I could manipulate the image so that it was “post worthy.” As I was trying to blur out my cellulite on FaceTune I thought… “What the hell am I doing?!” I posted the photo (Sans FaceTune) and wrote a caption along the lines of “I have cellulite, kiss my fat ass if you find it offensive.”

2. Why do you think the hashtag resonates with so many people?

I feel that people are tired of being fed perfect images 24/7. When they see someone upload an honest an unaltered picture, they have something to connect with. It gives people permission to be themselves.

3. What makes the conversation around body positivity and acceptance so important during our cultural climate?

Almost everyone is worried about their external appearance these days. There is so much emphasis placed on making sure that your life appears perfect in every way. The thing is, life isn’t perfect. Bodies aren’t perfect. The more honest we are with each other, the less alone we will all feel.

4. What’s next for #kissmyfatass?

At this stage, I’m just really enjoying creating a positive community.

5. Is body image something you’ve dealt with for many years? Tell us about the dark time. How did you get through it and who helped you?

I have dealt with body image issues for as long as I can remember. Growing up I was an overweight child and I was bullied for it. Once I lost the weight, the body image issues didn’t subside. I was never good enough. It has taken me years to realize that self-worth has nothing to do with how much you weigh! There’s so much more to focus your life on than counting calories.

Sheppard OMW Press Image by Caitlin Boland

6. Do you read Instagram comments, or do you steer away from them? Why or why not?

I read my Instagram comments. I try to reply to them all. As I said earlier, I want to build a community of positive people. I want to be able to help others who might be struggling or just be a friendly presence.

7. How does it feel to know the impact you’re having on so many women who’ve found confidence through this movement? Are there are any specific people that come to mind, who have contacted you and explained what a difference you made? Would love to hear about it.

I get so many messages and comments daily from people who find my posts of value. It truly means the world to me. In helping others, I have also found the process very healing for myself. It just goes to show how many people do suffer from body image issues.

8. VINA is all about helping every single woman find their tribe—their community of women who they can lean on. Who is your tribe? Who is your support system?

I’m so fortunate to have some incredibly strong women around me. I draw most support from my mum and my sister Emma. We are lucky enough to work together and we see each other every single day. A bond like that is unbreakable.

9. How do your girl friends lift you up? What are your favorite things to do with them?

One of my favourite things to do with the girls is to either head to the gym together or go for a nice long walk. It’s time without technology and a time to encourage one another. It’s like having a mini girl gang.

10. In typical VINA fashion, how do you usually spend your Sundays?

On Sundays, I invite my friends around and we spend all day either in the pool, or watching movies. Sundays are for chilling.

11.  Lastly, tell us about Sheppard! What’s going on this summer for you guys?!

We are taking some time to write album 3! We can’t wait for you all to hear it!

Check out Sheppard’s “On My Way” lyric video HERE!

WIN AN ALL-EXPENSES PAID TRIP TO THE GIRLBOSS RALLY!

Yes, you read that right!

We teamed up with Girlboss to give away the ultimate all-expenses-paid trip to the Girlboss Rally, which is taking place June 29-30 in Los Angeles. And you get to bring a friend with you for all the action!

Here’s what you’ll win:

  • 2 GA Passes to the 2019 Girlboss Rally (a $900+ value) 
  • A meet-and-greet with Girlboss’s very own Sophia Amoruso at her VIP Book Signing
  • A $500 airfare credit to fly in from anywhere 
  • A 3-night stay at the W Hotel, a stone’s throw from the event ($300) 
  • An one- year subscription for the Allure Beauty Box—plus some goodies to greet you at your hotel ($360 value)
  • A $300 gift card to shop Cuyana at the Girlboss Rally Shopping Bazaar
  • The ultimate souvenir: an original piece of ~art~ from The Other Art Fair

READY TO ENTER? CLICK HERE!!

 

TABOO TOPIC TUESDAY: BEING A STRONG, INDEPENDENT WOMAN (WHO DON’T NEED NO ONE!)

I think there’s a stigma against the women who just do have no interest in being in a relationship. We’re taught at such a young age through rom-coms and pop songs that when boy meets girl, girl will “finally” be complete. I think, however, that this notion is a load of crap.

I’m 20 years old. I have things to do, people to see, places to travel! I don’t want to tie myself down to another person. Why shouldn’t I be selfish for this one point in my life when I have forever to tie myself down.

I am proud of my ability to be able to navigate around the city without relying on a man to guide me, and I am proud to be able to feel a sense of freedom when doing so. Not having someone by my side 24/7 is okay.

This isn’t to say I’ll never get married. In fact, I do eventually want to settle down and start a family. However, I see this point of my life as a time to be free and to be me.

As someone who has succumbed to themes from Serendipity, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s All That, and other cheesy ’90s rom-coms for the entirety of my life, I want to make it clear that I’m over that stage. Completely. I’m not constantly searching for “the one” — I am going to become the best version of myself, and I know “the one” will naturally fall into my trail when the time comes.

This is my time.

Check out some other independent women on Hey! VINA to figure out your next fun plans!

THE BEST CONVERSATION ICE BREAKERS, ACCORDING TO DR. EMILY ANHALT

Dr. Emily Anhalt, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, has a lot of sage advice to share about seamlessly turning an awkward first interaction into a fun get-to-know-each-other first hang. Ice breakers are hard, but follow this advice to make them easier. Test ’em out on your next vina date, and be sure to let us know how it goes!

Here are our top 5 favorite ice breaker questions from her Twitter:

This one is super fun, and it will help you get to know your vina on a personal level. If you’ve never asked yourself this question it can be a fun self-discovery exercise. I think the title of my autobiography would be “The Punk Rock Poetess” because of my passions for music and writing. What would yours be?

This next ice breaker is a tough one, and it’ll probably take your vina a minute to think about. But this question’s answer will be rewarding for both of you. It’ll allow you to reminisce on some pieces of information or advice you wish you had learned sooner.

Ahh, the age-old question. This one is humorous and might make you salivate on your vina date! I think my death-row last meal would be a burrito or sushi, but those both oddly seem like cop outs? Stress to your vina that they can pick anything, and get hungry enough to pick a second vina date at a restaurant!

Knowing you have one month to live is quite daunting, so how would you spend these 30 days? Would you go sky-diving? Would you spend each day with your family and friends? Ask your vinas this question to see if they are the dare-devil type or a cozy homebody (both are completely valid!).

This last ice breaker is another tough one. Would your vina choose designer purses? Or a lifetime supply of Goldfish crackers? Or clothing from a store of her choice? The possibilities are endless! Ask this question to get some good laughs on your vina date.

We hope these ice breaker tips from Dr. Emily Anhalt help you find some questions to ask on your next vina date! Want to ask a vina out for drinks? Check out Hey! VINA to find your next girl gang.

YOU’RE INVITED TO FREE HEY! VINA AND ATHLETA’S PARTNER WORKOUTS!

You know our goal at VINA is to connect you with more friends to have more fun, so we teamed up with Athleta to bring you a fun free workout class! Join us for a partner workout to make friends.

Feel free to come solo or being a friend to enjoy a fun morning that will include a partner-based workout, post class refreshments from Thistle, a raffle, do some shopping and more!

Here’s all the info you need. Click the link to RSVP!

SUNDAY, APRIL 28 AT 10AM AT ATHLETA
4505 La Jolla Village Drive
San Diego, CA 10:00am
Time: 10am-11:30am
RSVP HERE!

Class description: Get ready for a morning of shakes, sweat, and smiles with your fave gal pal! Relevate is a turbocharged barre sculpt workout that weaves together yoga, Pilates, heart-pumping cardio, and functional strength training to strengthen and lengthen your body. Join us for a barre-less workout incorporating partner poses that will not only challenge your body, but will also leave you feeling supported and uplifted!

SUNDAY, MAY 5 AT 9:30AM AT ATHLETA AT THE VILLAGE
6320 N. Topanga Canyon Boulevard
Woodland Hills, CA
Time: 9:30am-11am
RSVP HERE!

Class description: The theme for class will be to find strength in those around us. We’ll be starting the morning off with a “Power Circle” warm-up, complete with positive affirmations. This class is great for all levels and will leave you feeling strong as we use partners to strengthen our cores, dance our way out of our comfort zones and rely on each other to try some new partner yoga moves.

SUNDAY, MAY 19 AT 10AM AT ATHLETA AT THE POINT
830 South Sepulveda Boulevard
El Segundo, CA
Time: 10:00am-11:30am
RSVP HERE!

Class description: We invite you to join a special partner barre workout that’s based on ballet and infused with Pilates. No barre? No problem! You’ll get a full body workout from head to toe and work up a serious sweat all while leaning on & lending a hand to your workout partner. No technique or experience required, but be prepared to feel like a complete #BarreBabe at the end of this class!

See you there!!

XO,
Olivia
Founder and CEO of VINA

SPRING BOOK CLUB: THE BEST NEW BOOKS TO READ THIS SPRING

The sun is coming out, the weather is warming up…what better way to celebrate the start of spring than with a new book?

Maybe you’ve been wanting to start reading something new for a while, but just don’t know where to start. After all, it feels like the lists of new releases are nearly endless! Or maybe you just finished something fabulous and you’re looking for something just as amazing! No need to stress about it — we’ve got you covered. Here’s a list of new releases by female authors for you and your vinas to devour.

DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Image via Goodreads.

Released on March 5th, Daisy Jones & The Six is the fascinating story of a fictional seventies rock band and their rise to fame…and their downfall. If you love Fleetwood Mac and the wild stories that came out about the recording of their 1977 album Rumours, this one is for you. It’s also told in the format an oral history, which makes it a fast read — but one that will still break your heart.

SING TO IT: NEW STORIES by Amy Hempel

Image via Goodreads.

Amy Hempel, a renowned short story author, is back with a new collection for the first time in a decade. Sing To It (published March 26th) features fifteen short stories about loneliness and the search for connection, and it’s perfect for those of us feeling lost and in need of some dazzling prose.

YOU KNOW YOU WANT THIS by Kristen Roupenian 

Image via Goodreads.

If you missed out on reading “Cat Person,” the short story published in The New Yorker that took the Internet by storm in December of 2017, never fear: it’s included in author Kristen Roupenian’s short story collection. Featuring stories about sex, guilt, anger, and pain, this is one you won’t want to miss (out January 15th).

THE PROPOSAL by Jasmine Guillory

Image via Goodreads.

This fun romance novel was Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick for the month of February, and it’s perfect for the start of spring. Pick it up and follow the excitement of a failed Dodger’s stadium scoreboard marriage proposal and a rebound relationship with all its twists and turns!

RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE by Casey McQuiston

Image via Goodreads.

Is there anything better than an enemies-to-lovers trope in a story? Nope, unless it includes a fake relationship that turns into something more…which this one totally does. McQuiston’s debut novel, out on May 14th, tells the story of what happens when the son of the American President falls in love with the Prince of Wales. Big-hearted and a lot of fun, be sure to check this one out when it’s released!

Want to talk about all these amazing new releases with someone? Start swiping on Hey! VINA and find someone to start a book club with!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MAYA ANGELOU: HOW TO LIVE A MEANINGFUL LIFE ACCORDING TO THE ICONIC POET

LIVE COURAGEOUSLY

Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou became the first black female cable car conductor in San Francisco at 16. She was turned down for the position continuously because of her race, but she wanted it so badly that she applied for the position again and again every day for three weeks until they obliged.

Later in 1974, she directed her first feature film – at age 70. The film, Down in the Delta, went on to win Best Feature in the Chicago International Film Festival along with a slew of other nominations and awards.

As a civil rights activist, she worked as the northern coordinator of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization started by Martin Luther King Jr to advocate for African American rights. She was also one of the early members of the Harlem Writers Guild, which promoted the publication of black writers.

Dear friends of fellow activists Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr, Angelou bravely continued her civil rights activism after their assassinations. King was assassinated on this day in 1968 – Angelou’s 40th birthday.

In her early life, she was a dancer and singer. She toured Europe in a production of Porgy & Bess. The bravery? She turned down a lead role in a Broadway production of House of Flowers to do it. “The producers of House of Flowers asked me, ‘Are you crazy? You’re going to take a minimal role in a play going on the road when we’re offering you a principal role for a Broadway play?,'” Angelou said in an interview with NPR. “I said, I’m going to Europe. I’m going to get a chance to see places I ordinarily would never see, I only dreamed of in the little village in Arkansas in which I grew up. Oh, no, I’m going with Porgy and Bess.” Angelou said it was one of her life’s best decisions.

LIVE WITH LOVE

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Angelou loved people, she loved herself, and she loved life.

Angelou lived her life connecting people, to herself, the human experience, and each other. She was an author, an actress, an activist, a dancer, a poet, an artist, the list goes on. Through all of her artistry, she connected people. Art reflects the human experience, and Angelou was an artist in every sense.

She described loving others as the greatest success one could have.

Rev. Cecil Williams, co-founder of Glide Memorial Church and good friend of Angelou’s, said of Angelou after her death in 2014, “She did so much to bring people together. She was just one of the most human persons I have ever met.”

Angelou was charismatic and passionate. She once wrote, “I work very hard, and I play very hard. I’m grateful for life. And I live it – I believe life loves the liver of it. I live it.”

Her advice for living well? “Determine to live life with flair and laughter.”

Beyond loving others and loving life, she also often wrote on the importance of loving and respecting yourself. “I respect myself and insist upon it from everybody. And because I do it, I then respect everybody, too,” she wrote.

You Maya Angelou with the quote, "Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."

Courtesy of behappy.befree.beyou Instagram

LIVE LIFE YOUR WAY

If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.

Maya Angelou

Whoever said you can either be an expert in one thing or a dabbler in many clearly had never met Angelou. Angelou won top awards in nearly every industry she touched. Most famously, her accolades for her authorship are numerous. Time magazine ranked her two-year-straight best selling book I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings as one of the most influential books of the 20th century.

Besides writing, dancing, and later directing, Angelou was a professional singer, having released a record called “Calypso Lady,” and a chef with two published cookbooks to her name.

Angelou was also married at least three times. Although she tried to keep the number of times she was married from the public eye for fear of appearing “frivolous,” she truly lived her way. She was unafraid to love completely and passionately, and she was just as unafraid to walk away and start anew when her life called her to.

Clearly Angelou wasn’t afraid of new challenges, experiences, adventures, or loves. She did what she wanted to do and lived on her own terms.

LIVE KNOWING YOUR WORDS HAVE POWER

I thought, my voice killed him… I killed that man, because I told his name. And then I thought I would never speak again, because my voice would kill anyone.

Maya Angelou

When Angelou was seven, her mother’s boyfriend raped her. Angelou told her brother, which later lead to her attacker’s trial. Due to her testimony, the man was convicted, however he only spent one day in jail. Four days after his release, her attacker was murdered. Many assume one of Angelou’s family members killed him. For five years Angelou was mute, because she believed that her words had killed someone. When she found her voice again, it was through writing. Her communication through the written word lasted long after her muteness, but she used both her lungs and her pen to change the world with her words. In fact, Angelou went on to learn to speak six languages fluently.

She wrote books and poems and screenplays, was a Grammy award winning orator, and was the second person ever to recite poetry at a presidential inauguration. Robert Frost was the first. She wrote some of the most important works of the 1900s and influenced American history, all with her words.

Maya Angelou with the quote "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive: and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."
Courtesy of txstxihoneys Instagram

LIVE WITH STRENGTH

A wise woman wishes to be no one’s enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone’s victim.

Maya Angelou

As you know by now, Angelou had no easy life, but she was strong and she was determined and she was alive. If anything, Angelou lived with incredible strength. She’s an inspiration and an icon. Her words have imprinted American society, and her passion for life was made meaningful by her strength of mind and heart. She was the master of her own life.

So happy birthday Dr. Maya Angelou. Thank you for living a meaningful life, and thereby giving us a written record and lived example of how to live meaningful lives, too.

VINA DATES ON A BUDGET

How many times have you and your vinas decided that there was nothing to do, simply because you couldn’t think of anything within your budget? Well, think again ladies. Here’s a list of 20 things you can do with your vinas on a budget, organized by cost.

FREE-ish

(Depending on where you live, you may need to consider bus or gas costs, which will bump up the cost!)

OPEN MIC NIGHT

Skip the alcohol (which we all know can be pricey), and just enjoy the moment!

SUNDAY MARKET

Go for some great photos and to meet your local makers, (if you can resist buying everything).

SWEAT IT OUT

Gym memberships usually have an option to let you bring a friend for free. Or go for a hike!

Four Women Standing on Mountain

DISCOVER SOME MAGIC

Visit your local crystal/gemstone shop for some free positive vibes.

GAZE AT THE STARS

Grab your vinas and a box of wine, and lay out underneath the stars.

HAVE A PHOTO SHOOT

Your vinas can all take turns hyping each other up as you each pose for the camera.

MAKE A TIME CAPSULE

This one’s pretty self-explanatory!

OLD IS NEW AGAIN

Be a tourist in your own city. See everything with a fresh, curious perspective!

“CHEAP” DATES: $5 – $10

GO ON AN ICE CREAM DATE

So simple, but so rewarding.

OR, GO ON A COFFEE DATE

Like ice cream, but with coffee.

Three Woman Sitting Smiling Inside Room

HOST A POTLUCK PARTY

Each vina can bring a homemade dish.

HAVE AN OLD-FASHIONED SLEEPOVER

Complete with cheesy Drew Barrymore movies, makeovers and popcorn. Also a great time to bring other those homemade dishes and have a potluck.

EXPLORE A CORN MAZE

If your city has one of these (and it’s open), you’re in luck. Corn mazes are packed with fun for a low entry cost.

ENGAGE IN A BAKE-OFF

Having a (friendly) baking competition between you and your Vina’s.

“MODERATELY-PRICED” DATES: $10 – $20 

RIDE BIKES

It’ll only be pricey if you have to rent a bike. My city has bike rentals for $15 for 3 hrs.

BEACH DAY

This is one can be pricey, but can be kept low if your vinas all pitch in.

Two Women Standing Near Shore Taking Photo

GO BOWLING

Simple, cheap, and amazing cafeteria food to indulge in? It’s the perfect guilty pleasure vina date night.

DRIVE – IN

If it’s open in your city, make it a goal to drive up there with your vinas for some old-fashioned fun.

The prices may be cheap, but the quality of memories made will be anything but.

Have an idea for a VINA date, or want to get one of these ideas started? Download the Hey! VINA app and find your tribe. 

SEX ED: WE ANSWER THE TMI QUESTIONS YOU WANT ANSWERS TO

It’s fun to share your Pinot Noir over your last Tinder hookup. You can give all the gritty details of the scent of his skin and how you woke up to apple cinnamon pancakes the next day. You and your vina can share some pretty intimate details, but there are some things that are less than “share-worthy.” It’s okay — we’ve been there. I’m here to be the big-sister-vina and answer some of those awkward questions. Let’s get started:

IS CYBER SEX REALLY CHEATING?

Right now, the world is at a peak of its technology advancements, which makes it no surprise that this is a question that is up for debate. You have to really ask yourself what YOU consider cheating. There is no “right” or “wrong” answer, it all falls upon your own values. Some people may consider a kiss on the cheek that they weren’t aware of as cheating, and others may only consider full intercourse as cheating.

Determine where you draw the line, and where your partner is standing near it. If your partner simply made a new friend from a Facebook group, that can be cool or not. If your partner simply made a new friend from a Facebook group, and started messaging them and sending them nude pics, that may still be okay with you — or not.

If at any point you begin to feel uncomfortable or question if your partner would be okay with what you’re doing, then the answer is that it’s probably wrong.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO TRY ANAL SEX?

Anal sex is something that you and your partner need to be fully in agreement with. It can be a pleasurable experience for both of you if it is done correctly. I will tell you that the biggest reason people do not have anal sex is because of the fear of what might come out, so shower up! When the mood is right and time is not an issue, foreplay will make the task much easier.

The best way to introduce anything to the anal area is with a lubed up single finger. Begin touching the area and inserting a finger then gradually increasing it to two. Add more lubricant whenever necessary. When the time is right, you or your partner will be able to fully engage in anal sex. Do not resist or clench up, because this will cause pain. Remain relaxed and just be in the moment.

IS SEX DURING MY PERIOD BAD?

While sex during your period is not necessarily bad, it can be messy. Provided that your SO is comfortable with the mess factor, period sex is no different than regular sex! Lay some old towels down on the bed, make sure to double or triple up on towels. Foreplay is usually best above the waist to avoid direct hand contact with the blood which may decrease the arousal factor. Entering the vagina will be no different than non-period sex, however, you will notice that the area is more lubricated. Some women experience a slight pause in their period flow for a few hours later due to the contractions of the uterus during sex, and this is totally normal. Bottom line: period sex is like regular sex, it just also involves blood. If your partner is not squeamish, then you two should be able to have a blast.

Although sex is not a taboo subject for many, there are still some questions that are uncomfortable to ask. Having a vina on Hey! VINA you can trust is always a good place to start. Who knows? Maybe your vina has the same question as you! It’s worth mentioning that, when in doubt, ask your doctor — they have seen and heard a lot! And no matter what you do, safe sex is the best sex!

Q&A WITH JACQUELINE MROZ, AUTHOR OF “GIRL TALK: WHAT SCIENCE CAN TELL US ABOUT FEMALE FRIENDSHIP”

Veteran journalist and long-time science writer for the New York Times Jacqueline Mroz set out to investigate the complexity of female friendship and her research did not disappoint. In her new book, Girl Talk, Mroz dives deep into the ins and outs of the friendships we have–from what we do right, to what we do wrong, to everything in between. In this exclusive heart-to-heart with VINAZINE, Mroz talks about toxic friends, the one thing you can do today to improve your friendships with other women and more. Read on for more!

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Jacqueline Mroz, Montclair, NJ. 03/13/2017 Photo by Steve Hockstein/HarvardStudio.com

Q: While researching female friendships in your extensive years of work, what has stood out to you the most?
A: I was amazed by how many health benefits there are for women who have good friends and a strong friendship network, from lower blood pressure to less anxiety and depression, to actually living longer!

Q: You mention the scarcity of studies and research on female friendships. Why do you think that is?
A: We’ve lived in a patriarchal society for so long, that it’s just started to change fairly recently. Also, many of the people who were in charge of scientific research were men who didn’t believe that female friendship was an important area of study. I wanted to research friendship to understand why women act the way they do with their friends, from a scientific standpoint, so I could better understand the motivation for their behavior.

Q: From your own research, what is one thing that women should be doing every day when it comes to their friendships? 
A: It’s important to try to reach out to friends regularly. Don’t get mad if they haven’t called you—they just might have a good reason, like an illness. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Spending time with a friend, being supportive and engaged, and just having fun together are great ways to strengthen a friendship. If you want to reconnect with an old friend, just pick up the phone! Forget texting and emailing—talking on the phone is the next best thing to seeing her in person.

Q: How has social media affected female friendships?
A: Studies show that social media users are more anxious and depressed, and tend to be more socially isolated. Connecting with people online is not the same as seeing friends in person and spending time with them, or even talking on the phone. The friendships that people form online tend to be highly superficial, and less fulfilling. Next time you want to connect with a friend, make a plan to see them, or even pick up the phone! Social media, compared with face-to-face interactions with people, is similar to consuming real food versus food-like substances. It’s just not the same and can make you feel empty and undernourished. I think this is more prevalent among younger women because they use social media more.

Q: How important it is to forge new friendships in your 20s and beyond?
A: It’s always good to forge new friends—and it’s something that will be happening throughout your life, at every age. It’s important to keep up a friendship, and not let it fizzle out. Call and make plans with your friends! They will always appreciate it.

Q: What are some ways you can find new friendships in this digital era?
A: Taking the same exercise class every week is a great way to make friends (and stay healthy)! Joining a club or a meet-up group can also be helpful. And apps like Hey! VINA are a terrific way to find new friendships.

Q: What are some meaningful ways you can bond with your new friends? 
A: Unlike men, women can bond with their friends by just having a cup of tea together and chatting. When I’m with friends now, I try to put my phone away so it’s not visible and not intrusive. That way I can really concentrate on what they’re saying. Try to keep up on what’s going on in their lives, and ask those important follow-up questions!

Q: We all seem to have a friend “who got away.” Why does that happen so often in friendships—is it just the evolution of friendship, or is there something more to it? 
A: Women’s relationships tend to be more fragile than men’s because they’re more intense. That fragility could also be because women have higher expectations of their friendships. If we expect more, then we’ll be disappointed more often. And if we’re divulging our deepest, darkest secrets to our friends, then we’re making ourselves more vulnerable to them, and those relationships can be more easily broken.

Having realistic expectations of friendship, and being able to speak frankly with a friend about things that bother us, are good ways to avoid breakups.

Q: As you studied female friendship, what common mistake did you see women making in their friendships?
A: Not talking it over with a friend when something is bothering you. We can talk to our friends about anything—except for our friendship. So many women will give up on a friendship, rather than trying to make it work, and that’s a mistake.

It’s definitely hard to talk to a friend about something that’s bothering you, but if you work up the courage to do so, you’ll find that you will both be so much happier with the relationship. Sometimes conflict can be about a misunderstanding or miscommunication that is easily resolved.

Q: What’s your best advice for dealing with a toxic friend?
A: A toxic friend is someone who isn’t really authentic and doesn’t have your back. She can’t be happy for you and separate your success from what she imagines she should have. This friend is someone who would undermine you or steal your job or husband or boyfriend. She’d even steal your ideas. There’s a lack of trust between you.

Try setting boundaries with this friend—that can give you back some control.  But at some point, you might have to say, ‘I’m not going to tolerate this anymore,’ and end it.

Q: What famous girlfriends from history most fascinate you and why? 
A: I love the story of the friendship between Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony. Cady Stanton was married with three kids when they met and older than Anthony, who was single, but they became immediate and lifelong friends. They complemented each other—Cady Stanton was the writer and Anthony traveled around the country, speaking about women’s rights. And they never fought. Sadly, they both died before women were given the right to vote.

Q: In typical VINA fashion, describe your ideal Sunday.
A: I like to spend time with good friends—going for a walk, seeing a film, or grabbing a cup of coffee so that we can catch up! 

Want your very own copy of Girl Talk? We’re giving two away! To be entered to win, comment on this post.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GLORIA STEINEM! 12 POWERFUL QUOTES FROM THE ULTIMATE VINA

It’s March 25 — that means Gloria Steinem is turning 85 today!👏 Gloria Steinem is a feminist and an activist who spoke up for women of the ’60s and ’70s through her journalistic endeavors at New York magazine and Ms. Magazine. In honor of her birthday, we rounded up our top 12 favorite quotes by the ultimate vina herself.

‪”A feminist is anyone who recognizes the equality and full humanity of women and men.”‬

‪”Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”‬

‪”Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It’s about making life more fair for women everywhere. It’s not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It’s about baking a new pie.”‬

“Women are always saying,”We can do anything that men can do.” But Men should be saying,”We can do anything that women can do.”‬

‪”Don’t think about making women fit the world‬—‪think about making the world fit women.”‬

‪”Empathy is the most radical of human emotions.”‬

‪”We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons … but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.”‬

‪”Women are not going to be equal outside the home until men are equal in it.”‬

‪”Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.”‬

‪”For women…bras, panties, bathing suits, and other stereotypical gear are visual reminders of a commercial, idealized feminine image that our real and diverse female bodies can’t possibly fit. Without these visual references, each individual woman’s body demands to be accepted on its own terms. We stop being comparatives. We begin to be unique.”‬

‪”Don’t worry about what you should do, worry about what you can do.”‬‬

‪”Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That’s their natural and first weapon. She will need her sisterhood.”‬

Happy Birthday, Ms. Steinem! We love you here at Hey! VINA!

HOW BLOGGING CHANGED MY LIFE: ONE VINA’S PERSONAL ESSAY ON THE POWER OF WRITING

Let me set the scene:

I’m in an aesthetic coffee shop as I type out my last passion-filled sentence and close my laptop. The first draft of an article I’m writing is complete, and I’m basking in the glow of the cleansing feeling I now have. My skin is clear, my crops are growing, the sun is shining, and it’s all thanks to blogging.  

Of course, this is the ideal scenario. Usually it’s more like I start with a half baked idea, play with it in my mind for a week or two until I finally put pen to paper (or, more likely, fingers to keyboard) a couple days before my deadline and crank something out. This process isn’t one I’ve always had, but I am thankful I get to experience now.   

I started writing as soon as I could hold a pencil (I’m not exaggerating). I was inspired by Lemony Snicket and Barbara Park’s stories that were gripping, sassy, and self-aware. I would spend recess on a bench writing pages and pages of stories in an attempt to replicate good dialogue and spunky characters. Any “quiet time” was used to ask my teachers how to spell big words like “unfortunate.”

As I grew older, I started struggling with mental health, and, before a therapist could tell me that writing was a good coping mechanism, I was pouring myself into stories. My darkest times spurred my interest in sharing my experiences. I was admittedly shy about my writing, mostly keeping it to myself, but what I did put out into the world made me feel good and in control of my life.

In college, I went through a phase where I wanted to do anything except what was expected of me, which meant that being known as “the writer” inspired me to enter college as a Business major, change to a Nursing major, and then finally coming back around to Communication when I realized I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by not following my heart (as cheesy as that sounds). Letting myself really write led to me starting an online magazine where I got to interview amazing women and work with international companies and organizations. It didn’t last, however — I was only a Business major for a hot second — but I did use my final year of college to be the Editor-in-Chief of my school’s newspaper.

My goal in all of this? Making hard conversations possible and accessible. Conversations about Black Lives Matter or the systematic influences on mental health or ways that all genders can have good sex weren’t being had, but my staff and I made it happen.

For me, blogging and writing in general has always been cathartic. I can process and come to terms with my emotions, making me a better communicator and friend. I can talk about serious matters in a way that’s palatable to the everyday person and even, at times, fun! I can express myself in my most authentic voice and have my experiences be relatable to readers. I know I’m not alone, and someone else gets to know they aren’t alone either. Where’s the downside in that? That feeling you get when you read an article and wonder if the author spied on you to be able to write such similar experiences? It’s a two-way street. Though sometimes it feels like I’m shouting into the void, I often feel like I’m talking to a bunch of my favorite vinas.

Whether it’s been for needing to cope with the stresses of life, having the opportunity to meet amazingly inspiring people, or engaging with my vina community of the internet, writing has always been there for me. As I finish this blog post not in a coffee shop with a great aesthetic, I know that blogging really has changed my life and made me a better person.

Want to start blogging or writing for an online publication? VINAZINE is the place for you! Check out Hey! VINA to swipe and find your writing soulmates.

IN LIGHT OF THE CHRISTCHURCH SHOOTING: “OUR VOICE MATTERS”

While many are still horrified by the Christchurch mosque shooting, the fear instilled in most of us when the news came out will slowly fade as it just becomes “another tragedy.” However, that feeling of being terrified is still in our Muslim friends every time they step foot in a mosque. After the attack, mosques all over the world are forced to tighten their security by having the police guarding their parameters. You don’t really see churches needing the same level of security, do you?

How about being able to wear a hijab without getting suspicious looks? Some people think that wearing the hijab suppresses the woman’s identity and expression, but she’s actually harnessing the feeling of empowerment as she wears a hijab. By exercising their freedom of religion, getting shouted at, spat on, or even physically hurt are just a few of the many acts of degradation they face. To have anxiety swelling up while praying in the masjid, constantly looking at the door, hoping that you could finish your prayers in peace — that’s the reality our friends face. The fear of not feeling safe anywhere and knowing that every Friday prayer could potentially be their last is real. The children are learning the fear as well, getting told by teachers and classmates that their religion supports terrorism. Even a little girl came back from school with her hijab hidden in her bag, because she was scared of being bullied.

At this point, many still don’t see our Muslim friends as humans. The families who went to the Christchurch mosque were ready to sit with loved ones and pray, but were slaughtered instead. The current social climate allowed this to happen, and this isn’t about some guy with mental issues. When Islamophobia is normalized, this could be anyone. People are afraid to stand up, especially if it doesn’t affect them, or maybe they just want to “mind their own business.” Anytime you hear Islamaphobic remarks, and you say nothing, you are letting them know that their words are acceptable, or that it’s probably just “black humor” and that you should just learn how to “take a joke.” Shying away from confrontation cannot make you an ally. When your family members and friends joke about stereotypes and you avoid conflict, you feed the beast. That shooter? He was someone’s relative. He was someone’s friend. This could have been prevented. Our Muslim friends cannot be the only ones standing up to the hate and we must stand with them, to say that there is no such thing as a harmless joke or a funny stereotype, because this fuels the underlying belief of hate; and the hate grows.

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When the headline is replaced with another tragedy and memories of past tragedies fade, they will still be in danger; being yelled out, their mosques burned and vandalized, and our women unsafe because of a piece of cloth. Speaking up just for the occasion and hashtagging to dedicate to the victims, is not enough. Speaking up anytime you see something wrong and educating your friends and family, is how we can do our part to support and protect. They need us. Our voice matters. Dare to speak up and don’t stop until this world is safe for us all.

Want to connect with other vinas on this topic? Join Hey! VINA and start swiping.

HAVING IT ALL — YOU’RE PROBABLY DOING IT WRONG

For as long as I can remember, I never believed I could have it all. But my perception has shifted.

I believed that anyone who said they could “have it all” — a happy husband, kids, AND a big career — was either a liar, a faker, or a skipper of sleep. And, since I was never going to lie, fake it, skip sleep, or sacrifice my family’s needs, I believed I was never going to be able to have a huge, successful career AND a great home-life.

And guess what happened? I busied myself proving this theory true. How, you ask?

Well, whenever a big opportunity came up at work, suddenly, quite out of the blue, I’d start feeling overly guilty and emotional about being a bad mother. I’d get really scared that I was going to ruin my kids if I chose my career over spending the weekend with them. Once, I even cried to my boss at the time, begging her not send me on an important business trip because I thought my kids needed me. She even almost let me cancel the trip. And brace yourself, if, God forbid, a TV opportunity came my way, I’d question it and preemptively worry that I’d never be able to do a TV show and be there for my family.

Now, keep in mind, my husband was home a lot, we didn’t need a nanny, and he was happy to be with the kids. As a matter of fact, he encouraged me to follow my dream. And, were my kids upset that I was away sometimes? Well, I never actually asked myself that question. All I knew was that I believed I couldn’t have it all.

Then, one day, I called my coach and explained everything. I told her that I thought I was having a time management problem and didn’t know how to juggle career and family. My coach had a different take on it. Apparently, I was busy proving my theory that I couldn’t have it all, when in actuality, there was no real evidence to back my belief. My career, after all, wasn’t ruining my children. They were happy and great.

Perhaps, my theory was masking something else.

I was using my kids as an excuse to stay small at work. I was sabotaging opportunities in the name of my children. When I got to the root of it all, my coach helped me see that, in fact, I was hiding from my big dreams.

I was a chicken.

I was way more interested in proving my theory that “I can’t have it all,” than facing the truth that I was scared. Obviously, everyone gets scared sometimes, but this is the part of the pattern — my part in it — that I kept failing to see.

Staying small and being scared didn’t make me happy in my career, proud of myself, or a great parent! It was actually making a mess of everything.

Here are the following steps I took to put my chicken back in its coop and to start having it all.

1. CREATE A VISION

I wrote an inspiring vision for my career and family life. It was about having an effortless flow between my home life, family, work, and travel. I was my best in both arenas and made sure they fed each other. The more I articulated how I wanted to feel and show up, the more powerful it felt to live into this dream.

2. INVENT A NEW THEORY

I set out to prove a new theory: the braver I am in my career, the happier my kids and homelife will be.

It didn’t take long before I heard one of my kids say to me, “I’m so proud of you” and the other, bragged to all her friends that her mom was on the cover of a magazine. My kids understood, and more importantly, felt that when I am expanding at work, I shine, radiate good vibes, and show up better for them. I also found that the more I worked on my parenting and marriage, the more confident I was with clients and collaborators.

Having kids was actually helping my career!

3. MAKE PROMISES

Clearly, my work-life imbalances weren’t all in my head! There were some things I actually had to change regarding how I was running my life. I needed to design promises that would help me stay present, loving, and bold if I wanted to succeed in both my career and home-life.

Turns out, kids, spouses, moms, clients, and co-workers, like predictability as much as they like attention. Chickens (and inner brats), not so much.

What if one of the reasons I couldn’t have it all, was because I didn’t put “it all” into real time.

So, here are some of my promises:

  • 6:30pm family dinner, no matter what, no screens or distractions
  • If I am traveling, special evening cuddle sessions with each kid prior to travel
  • One bold action per day in my career that scared me
  • 10pm nightly bedtime with my husband for cuddle time (by phone when traveling)
  • No being away 2 weekends in a row. No being out more than 3 nights/week
  • I take kids to all doctor appointments and attend all performances

4. IMPOSE CONSEQUENCES

The structure of promises changed everything. But, in order to make sure that I kept my promises, I designed some self-imposed consequences for myself. For example, I pay my kids $20 if I am late to dinner. This worked wonders. Suddenly, seemingly overnight, I became extremely punctual to dinner! Funny how that works. And, If I’m late to bedtime, it’s 100 pushups the next day. At the very least, my inner brat will have strong arms!

5. GET ACCOUNTABLE

What also locks a new theory into place is going public with it and being held accountable by all involved. In this case, my family, friends, co-workers, and coach. Telling everyone my vision and my promises allowed them to support me when my pesky mind would tell me I should shy away from a work opportunity.

Truly, it’s amazing how much articulating my dreams, debunking my bad theories, and sticking to a simple action plan changed everything. Not only could I “have it all”, I could quit the suffering and enjoy the kid-friendly ride.

Love, Laurie

YES! It is possible for you to unf*ck your future self. Learn to human better with Inner.U, our online coaching course that gives you the tools to do this life thing a little bit better. Get $50 bucks off and a bunch of free, hot coaching tips now through 4/22. Plus if you sign up now, you’ll be invited to an exclusive live kick-off call with creator Lauren Zander. You in?

Watch our very own VINA interview with Laurie Gerber!

While you’re at it, find other moms to bond with over motherhood by joining the New Moms, Working Moms, Stay at Home Moms or Pregnant community on Hey! VINA!

TABOO TOPIC TUESDAY: SEXISM

Yes, you, a woman, are likely sexist against women, and more specifically, against yourself. CNBC reports that studies are showing gender stereotypes that made their way into your psyche when you were in high school are still lingering in your brain and affecting your confidence in your abilities. Most noticeably, women tend to report much lower confidence in their mathematics skills than men do, often starting in high school (that’s right, girls believe they are just as capable as boys at math in elementary school). The interesting part? This is in direct contrast with the facts. Studies show minuscule differences in actual ability between genders.

Gender stereotypes we pick up in high school don’t just affect the way we talk about math class in high school (and later the degrees we choose to pursue in college), they affect our financial lives as strong, independent adults. Competent, professional women are uncomfortable talking about or taking charge of their financial lives. This is a big deal.

Not only do women rate their investing abilities lower than men do, we also seek out financial guidance significantly less than men do. In a 2013 study by Fidelity Investments, only 12 percent of Millennial women in a “couples relationship” reported holding a primary role in the family’s investing decisions. We’re talking about “the generation that has graduated more women from college than men and have made the most strides in the workforce,” says Kathleen Murphy, president of Personal Investing at Fidelity.

Women have made strides in gaining equality and making a voice for themselves recently. In the age of the Me Too movement, feminism and body positivity, we are bringing to light major issues in the way society treats women. Yet, somehow, we’ve left this important aspect of gender stereotyping behind, allowing it to take root and grow in our minds and the minds of young girls and women everywhere.

Women still earn less than men and face opportunity-for-advancement discrimination. This means that in order to have true independence, we as women “have to work harder, save more, and be our own advocates,” says Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, certified financial planner and author of a nationally syndicated personal finance column. To keep moving forward and claim our rightful and equal standing in the professional and personal world, we need to be able to successfully manage our finances. Without financial freedom, how much freedom do you really have?

HOW TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR FINANCES

If you’re ready to take control of your financial health and, ultimately, your independence, Schwab-Pomerantz goes into detail about four ways to start in her Parade.com article, “Ask Carey: Women and Money: Why It’s Important to Take Control of Your Finances.” In summary, she suggests we:

  1. Prioritize retirement
    • When you start saving for retirement is a big deal. If you start with your first paycheck when you’re in your 20s, “you can comfortably save about 10-15 percent of your annual salary (including any contributions from your employer) and you may not have to increase that percentage for the rest of your working years,” says Schwab-Pomerantz. Starting later could mean having to put away more than 25 percent of your annual salary each year. That’s a significant difference.
  2. Don’t just save – invest
    • When it comes to long-term financial planning, putting your money in the dirt just isn’t enough. If you want to be living comfortably in your later years, you need to make your money work for you. “You ideally want a diversified portfolio that’s positioned for growth,” says Schwab-Pomerantz. Yes, there’s some risk, but making smart decisions doesn’t mean making decisions on your own.
  3. Team up with an adviser
    • A financial planner can help you build a sturdy and diversified portfolio, especially when you’re just starting out. Schwab-Pomerantz suggests finding an adviser who understands your goals and who you communicate well with.
  4. Have a financial plan
    • The financial plan is the all-encompassing road map for your financial life. It’s a holistic look at all the interrelated pieces of the financial puzzle and can provide a lot of guidance and comfort when it comes to the way you manage your money says Schwab-Pomerantz. She says your plan “reviews your income, expenses, investments, retirement planning, insurance coverage, income tax liability, estate planning needs and—most importantly—how they all work together.”

Financial independence isn’t just about how much money you have. It’s also about having the confidence to make decisions and standing up for yourself.

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

The only thing better than claiming your financial freedom is empowering your fellow vinas to do the same. Find your next financial planning buddy (or buddies!) on the Hey! VINA app today!

YOU’VE GOT LOCATIONS: A GUIDE TO ROMANCE MOVIES FILMED IN NYC

Set the scene. Valentine’s Day has passed and you just watched all of your favorite Meg Ryan romances. From Sleepless in Seattle to You’ve Got Mail, you’re considering dropping everything to become a writer in hopes that your very own Tom Hanks will find you.

While the chances of that happening are slim, reenacting your favorite movie scenes in the places they were shot may fare a better chance. If you’re a vina living in New York City, you share the same home as just about every romantic film you can think of. So why not go live out your own romance for yourself?

You’ve Got Mail (1998)

Courtesy of IMDB.

Starring Meg Ryan as Kathleen Kelly and Tom Hanks as Joe Fox, this film fixated on a 90s version of Tinder is a classic. Shot almost entirely on the Upper West Side, New York vinas can visit the small bookshop Kathleen owned, which is now a cleaners, to the cafe where Kathleen nearly got stood-up by Joe.

  • Kathleen Kelly’s Townhome: 328 W 89th St. (Manhattan)
  • Fox Books: 115 7th Ave. (Manhattan)
  • The Shop Around the Corner: 106 W 69th St. (Manhattan)
  • Cafe Lalo: 201 W 83rd St. (Manhattan)

Moonstruck (1987)

Courtesy of IMDB.

This film gave us the romance we didn’t know we needed between Loretta Castorini, played by Cher, and her fiancé’s brother, Ronny Cammareri, played by Nicolas Cage. After an initial meeting that was the least bit eloquent, Loretta’s fiancé becomes an outlier in her love life.

  • Castorini Townhouse: 19 Cranberry Street (Brooklyn)
  • Cammareri Bros Bakery: 502 Henry St. (Brooklyn)
  • Grand Ticino: 284 W 12th St. (Manhattan)

When Harry Met Sally (1989)

Courtesy of IMDB.

No relationship screams “it’s complicated” like the one between Harry Burns, portrayed by Billy Crystal, and Sally Albright, portrayed by Meg Ryan. The pair’s romance, or lack thereof, had a rocky start and their coupling was but the least bit predictable outside of the film’s title. Nonetheless, the pair ventured all around New York City in some notable, and others more subtle, locations that a vina must check out!

  • Katz’s Delicatessen: 205 E Houston St. (Manhattan)
  • Jess and Marie’s Townhome: 32 W 89th St. (Manhattan)
  • Washington Square Park: Washington Sq. North & 5th Ave. (Manhattan)

While there are numerous places you and your vina gang can visit, this is just a start! Spice up your 9 to 5 life and live vicariously through some of your favorite characters.

Want to find vinas in NYC to scope out these scenes? Start swiping on the Hey! VINA app right now!

YOUR PERSONALIZED MARCH HOROSCOPE

March–the month of “Come in like a lion and go out like a lamb”–for sure lives up to that phrase the next 31 days, especially with Mercury stirring up for retrograde on March 5th. For those of you who are unsure, Mercury is the planet known to be the messenger, directing the ways we think, communicate and share information. Being the planet that’s closest to the Sun, this makes a whole lotta sense! And once this planet goes in retrograde, which she does three times a year for a good three weeks each time, communication, information and our thinking gets a little interrupted by universal forces! Just know, this month’s shenanigans aren’t totally your fault, but it’s for sure a time to reflect, be patient with your thoughts and words and take responsibility for the things we need to reconcile or grow from.

Here is a little guide on how to make it through:

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ARIES

We know you’re eager to get your goals started, business agreements signed, keeping your eye open for a possible new love interest… but the time isn’t now to be impulsive with your wants. Instead, look back to last month–was there anything you started you haven’t finished? Are you idea-jumping and not staying solid with one goal? Are you ready for a commitment or are you looking to just have some fun? Be aware of needs, rather than desires. Reflect deeply on your emotions, instincts and spirituality this month.

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TAURUS

This could be a month full of misread actions and confused communications for you dear vina, but don’t fret! This is truly a time for you to use your grounding skills, think before you speak, appreciate the simple things you have and the wonderful people around you and practice concentration. March presents you with a month that is dedicated to your self-development and you should most definitely own it and commit 100% to that! Key words for you this month: opportunity, community, connections–don’t pass up any experiences that will get you closer to your goals.

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GEMINI

Things may seem a bit overwhelming for you this month, and with Mercury being your ruling planet, it could seem as though everything and everyone is conspiring against you, but know that everyone is dealing with communication dead-ends just like you, and like everyone else, you have the power to uplift and transform those chaotic energies! Don’t lose sight of who you are and don’t take things too personal. Express yourself the best way you can through writing, dance, the arts or just leaning on a good friend to help support you could be a wonderful remedy. Keywords: friendships, reputation, organization.

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CANCER

Not everyone is a mind reader or has the intuitive depth as you do, dear Cancer, so it’s up to you to put into words how you are truly feeling inside. Crave more time with your partner? Tell them. Don’t feel appreciated? Say it. Feeling a bit insecure? Talk to someone close about it and focus on communicating with inner clarity. By the end of the month, while others may be feeling a bit introverted, you might feel quite opposite, and crave company. This is a good time to head out on vina date with the vinas who support you and make you feel appreciated. Have fun and let loose! Key words: Clarity, insights, expression.

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LEO

Your creative ideas have been flourishing, but getting the ideas into action has been sort of an obstacle for you. With Mercury shaking things up in the communication realm, you might feel roadblock for your goals and creativity, but what most of us don’t realize is retrogrades are actually very beneficial for our growth. In fact, it’s especially a great time for us to get deep within, reflect and plan out your goal strategy. Remain self-assured, good things are coming! Key words: Transformation, attraction, projects.

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VIRGO

Obsessing over the little things, the big things, the faults of others, your irritations–this all must come to an end for the month of March. Dear Virgo, we know you mean well, but with your ruling planet heading into retrograde, there’s no point in throwing gas on the fire and have others misinterpret every word, your advice, opinions (or nitpick ;)) you say. Use that energy to head within–has your mind been feeling a bit chaotic or on overload? Letting go of the things that don’t include you (meaning taking on other’s issues) could be the best remedy for you this month. Key words: Partnerships, relationships, break free.

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LIBRA

You work so hard to keep the peace, and lately it seems like more of a job for you, Libra lady. Certain energies this month may interfere with your tranquil energies in your love life and relationships, but by remaining patient with yourself, it can help keep the balance. Remember to be there for your own needs! This retrograde might start out with a bit of chaos, so stay organized and double check career deliverables. Work on staying on top of your business and career this month. Key words: Self-care, routines, service to others.

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SCORPIO

Energies are intense! You can feel it a mile away. Maybe it’s affecting you in your love life, career, friendships–but either way, be careful not to lash out on impulse because you will regret it later. This is a good time to slow down and take some private time to yourself. Maybe take a mental health day, a car ride through nature, a day full of Netflix and chill. Whatever it is, keep your energies balanced and focus on slowly pursuing your goals. No rush to the finish line! Key words: Creativity, sexuality, reflection.

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SAGITARIUS

You might be craving some fun this month, whether that’s in the bedroom or out with your best vinas, and the universe is on your side with your desire! Hit the streets with your vinas or hit the sheets with some new positions with your partner. While others are juggling the obstacles of Mercury’s retrograde, you’re loving every minute of it! But what’s new? Sagittarius’ are always open to transforming and learning new things. So have fun this month and let your natural charm radiate. Key words: Empathy, pursuits, knowledge.

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CAPRICORN

You seem to be stirring the pot this month, anxious Capricorn! With your desire to show off at work, your need for extra attention and spice with your partner, plus your craving of something new–you may piss certain people off this month. Starting with your S.O. If you seem bored in your relationship, make some time for romance this week. Light some candles and remind yourself why you decided to be in this commitment. For our single Caps, around the 20th, you might have your eyes on a certain someone who could be a lifetime mate! Instead of boiling up your energy at work and causing some tension, head to the gym or a yoga class and start a new regimen. Key words: Intentions, romance, mindfulness.

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AQUARIUS

We know you love your alone time and while this is a great month to practice some solitude, remembering to balance out the time you give can also be beneficial. To our committed vinas in a relationship, remember to schedule some cuddle time with your partner, and to our single vinas, head to a coffee shop with an artistic friend to collab on some creative ideas! You’ll desire to delve into self-development or esoteric learnings, which will lead you into some emotional healing needs this month. Key words: Values, enlightenment, partnerships.

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PISCES

Your spiritual side is calling this month and truthfully, it could be the best thing for you! As energies become intense, it best for you to focus on serenity and ways to keep your emotions balanced. You feel a need to deepen your understanding of yourself and the world, and the more time you spend focusing on this need, you might find your creativity is sparked! Remember to be mindful of other’s feelings. Being as sensitive you are, you might find you close yourself off to certain energies (which is okay, as boundaries are needed!), but remember to be there for those who love you and need you. Key words: Dream work, self-love, compassion.

Needing a vina to connect with this month? Download Hey! VINA and swipe right to make new connections!🔮💫

FEARLESS FEMME FRIDAYS: BADASS WOMEN IN THE NEWS

A new week means a new round-up of kickass ladies to celebrate. From the Oscars to the open seas, take some inspiration from some incredible women making headlines. And here’s a bonus: we’ve gathered seven awesome women to cheer for this week! Score.

MELISSA BERTON & RAYNA ZEHTABCHI 

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Berton and Zehtabchi (producer and director, respectively) won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short for their film Period. End of Sentence. The documentary focuses on the taboos surrounding menstruation in a rural village near Delhi, India, and discusses how the stigma still surrounding periods prevent young girls from receiving appropriate sanitary products and result in having to drop out of school. Berton said that because of the film’s nomination, their team has received tons of requests to install sanitary pad machines in various communities across the world, with the help of a non-profit called “The Pad Project,” which you can learn more about here.

SERENA WILLIAMS

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In addition to being an incredible tennis player, Serena Williams is also a fierce advocate for equality. In a new Nike ad, featuring all women, aired during the Oscars and Williams narrates a list of all the adjectives women are called to undermine their passion: hysterical, irrational, crazy, etc. Williams urges young women to go out and find their voice, regardless of what anyone says about them.

KATE McCUE

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Kate McCue became the first American woman to captain a cruise ship in 2015, and beginning later this year, will sail a billion-dollar ship (the Celebrity Edge) designed entirely by women. In an interview with The New York Times, she talks about how she knew she wanted to sail cruise ships since she was 12 years old, and eventually worked her way up from working on banana boats to working on a Disney cruise as a third mate, where she climbed the ranks from 2003 to 2015. Read more about McCue here.

ILHAN OMAR

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The 119th Congressional committee is the most diverse it’s ever been. Ilhan Omar, one of first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress, spoke to Rolling Stone about what her first experiences in the United States (she immigrated when she was 12) and what it feels like to now represent her country during a contentious political climate. She discusses the importance of advocating for people like herself, as well as the necessity of owning up to her mistakes. Read the interview here!

 

HANNAH BEACHLER & RUTH E. CARTER

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These two women made history at the Academy Awards last Sunday when they won Oscars for Production Design and Costume Design, respectfully, for their work on the Marvel hit Black Panther. They each became the first African-American women to win awards in their category, as well the first African-American women to win in a non-acting category since 1984! Their contributions allowed Black Panther to be an authentic and beautiful film that will live on in history.

Want to meet some badass ladies of your own? Check out the Hey! VINA app today and start swiping!

10 WAYS TO CELEBRATE YOUR VINAS DURING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

If you didn’t already know, March is Women’s History Month! We think it’s super important to celebrate the hard work and achievements women have made throughout history, and and while we personally try to do this year-round, we think this month is the perfect opportunity to go ALL OUT. It’s not all about the women who’ve come before us – it’s also about celebrating the women we are surrounded by in every day life.

Here are 9 ways to be advocates for our fellow women throughout the month… or year… or lifetime (plus one cheeky bonus idea):

JOIN A BIG SIS/LITTLE SIS PROGRAM

You’ve heard the saying that it takes a village. Well not all little girls are lucky enough to have a village of support. By being a big sis to someone, you have the opportunity to mentor, guide, and give support to a gal who may not get those things from anyone else. Plus, she may just teach you a little something, too!

VOLUNTEER AT A RETIREMENT HOME

On the opposite end of that spectrum – volunteer at a retirement home and spend some time with women of an older generation. We have so much to learn from those who’ve come before us. Listen carefully, take notes, and get ready to finish what they started so long ago.

RETAIL THERAPY

Put your money where your mouth is! Shop at local, women-owned businesses to support your fellow entrepreneurial babes. Also, check out these brands we’re obsessed with.

JOIN AN INTERSECTIONAL FEMINISM TOWN HALL

Never heard of it? Intersectional feminism town halls are safe spaces for women of all backgrounds to get together, discuss issues, and take action when necessary. It’s a place to learn from others, tell your own stories and struggles, and meet other likeminded women. No town hall in your city? Check out this guide for starting one yourself.

SUPPORT THE WOMEN’S MARCH’S EFFORTS

We’ve all been inspired by the show of support and unity at the Women’s March in January. Don’t let that momentum stop! Check out their 2019 Agenda and if you feel inclined, sign your name to endorse it!

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Bonus idea #10: Rock every single one of your girl power pins at once. (via @emmaolswing)

JAM OUT TO YOUR FAVE GIRL POWER SONGS

Take a minute for yourself and dance like nobody’s watching! Better yet – jam out with your vinas. It’s the ultimate release and will get you feelin’ strong and empowered. Try this playlist for some major girl power inspo.

DONATE TIME/MONEY TO A CAUSE THAT SUPPORTS WOMEN

Need a place to start? Check out this list.

READ, READ, READ

Read your fave feminist news publication. Read the right-wing news, read left-wing news. Read a book by your favorite woman author. Read one of your diary entries from 10 years ago. Just don’t stop reading.

FIND A GIRL GANG

Best way to feel empowered and supported? Build up your community. We’re obviously fans of using Hey! VINA to meet your new girl gang or supplement your existing one with more cool vinas!

These are just a few ideas for kickstarting your women’s empowerment season! Need more ideas? We were super inspired by this list.  

(Feature image via Refinery29)

 

BARBARA CORCORAN Q&A: “MY GIRLFRIENDS ARE MY BEST ASSET”

If you’ve watched Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank or listened to her advice on her new podcast, Business Unusual, you pretty much know what to expect with this real estate mogul: 100%, unfiltered, no-BS honesty. But spend an hour with her at her brightly-painted and cheery office on Park Ave. in NYC and you’ll see how much grit she really has. She’s gone through career defeat, she’s had her own failures, she had to make a name for herself in the male-dominated field of real estate, and she’s let none of it get her down. Over wraps and soup, I chatted with Barbara about overcoming self-pity, the importance of making time with friends and the need for apps like VINA to meet the girlfriends who will impact your life for the better and so much more.

Read our full Q&A below, and be sure to check out our video for more with Barbara!

VINA: After your early career success, you could have sat back and enjoyed the ride, but you have found so many outlets to help others—your book, Shark Tank and your podcast, Business Unusual. Why was it so important for you to share your intel with aspiring entrepreneurs?
BC: Anything I can do to help my sisters, I’m all for.

VINA: When you look back on your career path, you have talked about never making excuses for any challenge or obstacle thrown your way. We see a lot of our community sometimes struggling with negative self-talk and feeling powerless about their situation at times. What do you suggest can they start telling themselves when things don’t go as planned?
BC: I feel very strongly about this and I can answer very honestly and it’s probably what you need to hear, anyway. I think that women have to label discouragement as self-pity. And once you do that, you declare it the enemy. So I’ll feel sorry for myself for a second or I’ll feel the downside of a rejection, but I immediately see it for what it is: I’m gonna feel sorry for myself just because of a little bump here? So I get myself out of that position right away. Because what happens is you can easily get in a rut of negative self-talk, negative self-pity. But I label it as an enemy because I see it as an exact equivalent of giving your power away.

Many do negative self-talk as a whole reel in your head, and we’re very capable of changing our own reels — I’m totally sure of that because I’ve had to do it. If I can do it, the next guy can do it. It’s just a matter of persisting and knowing that you’re in charge. Then what happens is you take your power back.

I don’t like the idea of giving my power away for even three minutes. I take it back, and how do you take it back? You decide you have to do something about it. I do it because I have learned that’s what it’s all about. I hate to make it sound so simple but — not just with women, but the men I work with, my partners, my employees over my life, my ladies here…if anything goes wrong, if I see them licking their wounds just for a second, I’m like, “Nope. Now what are we gonna do about it?” You can always do something about everything. Everything bad you can do something about. And then you get the phenomenal reward that I’ve learned my whole life is the worst belly-flops always have the biggest upsides. Like a bouncing a ball on the ground, the harder you hit, the better it bounces it up, you can grab a high ball. But unless you’re willing to stand up and get ready for that ball coming back up, you’re going to miss that whole bounce.

VINA: In your podcast, you answer listener-submitted questions. What are some unexpected trends you’ve noticed?
BC: People ill-content with their position in life. I feel like everybody I talk to is ill-content, wondering if they should be in business for themselves or if they should be asking for the raise, wondering if they should be aggressively pursuing the job that they really want but are afraid to leave the old job.

VINA: You famously had 22 jobs before you started your real estate company at age 23. If someone wants to switch tracks and find their perfect career, what is your best advice?
BC: You know, I think a lot of people think they have to go from A to Z; no, I think all you have to do is get the first step. It’s much like exercising in the morning — I’m always exercising, I hate it every single day, but I break it down for myself to allow myself to do it. It’s the same kind of thing. I just stare at my sneakers by my bed — if they’re in my closet I won’t get up, I know myself — if they’re by my bed, all I have to do is get one foot in one sneaker and somehow you get that foot in and you’re out the door. Apply that to the job front, all you really have to do is go online and see what’s out there. All you really have to do is update your resume. All you really have to do is take a new picture to put up since everybody is checking your profile before they interview you, hopefully.  All you have to do is take the first baby step — you can’t get momentum by sitting still. You can’t get momentum by thinking, and if you’re going to analyze what the right thing to do is, you’re never going to move. You just have to get it going. Any little old baby step will get you going, get some momentum going forward. I think that’s the best advice for people; just get going and see how you feel, see what you think. Just take your first step, it’s so satisfying and you know what? Even if you stumble on your first step, the pride and self-confidence you get from making a step is worth it. It just makes you feel good about yourself. Like any first step, just in the right direction.

VINA: We hear a lot about how important it is to have happiness in your workplace and actually enjoy where you work. If you’re a boss or a manager, what can you do to help make your employees happier?
BC: You can create your environment from the color of the walls, to the hours, to the vacations, to the pay, to the bonuses and surprise bonuses, to the compliments, to the award systems established, to the pure unadulterated attention to detail that’s going to make anyone happy, and everybody’s capable of figuring that out. I think you have to have the desire to have a happy family. It’s something not on a lot of people’s radars in business, which is amazing to me, because even the greediest, cheapest guy in the world who doesn’t create a great environment is an asshole, frankly, because he’s losing money.

I’ve watched the difference, I’ve moved to a new office and made it like a spa, made it a beautiful place to work, and I watched my commission pop up immediately. And the rent I didn’t think I could afford was easily covered. So I think you have to get dedicated to pushing off a portion of your time as a boss to create fun in the workplace, to create fun outside-the-workplace.

My best day last week was when I forced all these kids — after two weeks of saying you’ve got to see the new Queen movie (Bohemian Rhapsody), I’ve seen it three times and I’ve never seen a movie more than once in my life. After two weeks of saying you’ve gotta go out and see it, they didn’t go out. I mean, they have their own life on the weekends. So I came in on Monday morning, I bought three tickets, they went to the movies, I said don’t come back, go out for lunch and the movies. They loved it. Who got the best work from their employees? Me? Of course I did. Did I do it for that purpose? Truthfully, halfway. But I really wanted them to see that movie. It was so deliciously motivational, good, intriguing, educational. What doesn’t it have? You’re a loser if you don’t see it, frankly.

You’ve put money in the bank for the future, no matter how you look at it. You get your biggest bang for your fun buck in business. I have no doubt — you get creative force, you get teamwork, you get love, that feels good, right? But it’s the most underutilized part of business, fun. And it’s so silly, it’s so profitable, really. Who doesn’t want to be happy at work? And do you know, I can actually brag — I’ve never lost an employee, and I’ve employed thousands of people in my life. Never has anyone left unless I told them to leave, which I did a lot. People, if they’re happy at work, they do not leave.

VINA: Your 20s were extremely busy–you were running a highly successful real estate company in NYC. You wrote in your book of the nights you just collapsed into bed, barely sleeping. As Hey! VINA is a friend-finding app, we have to ask–did you make time for friendships? Why or why not?
BC: Well, I’ve always had girlfriends and they’re my best asset today, girlfriends. I mean, what would you do without girlfriends? I’ve had two husbands — I’m still with Bill 38 years later, it’s shocking… but here we are! Two peas in a pod! With the girlfriends, I have the longest range girlfriends from — you know what happens, you meet your best friends when you’re young, I really believe that. You meet your lifelong friends when you’re young. Two categories: your early job experience, you get your best friends. They’re different than the friends you have any other time. And when your kids are young, you make a second group of best friends. After that, you’ll never make best friends like that again.

I’m very friendly, I make friends so easily really, because I really like people, and I have so many friends — but they can never compete with my original girl friends through those two sectors of my life. They’re my best buds. So lucky for me, as hard as I worked, I always had a couple of girl friends from that, and then I got five or six good girl friends from the children’s years, but in the end, I really have two friends, that’s how I figure. Two closest, bosom buddy friends. One’s 10 years older than me, one’s 10 years younger.

VINA: What were you looking for quality wise when you were young?
BC: My first qualifier is, “Do they have a sense of humor?” And I use that to choose friends today. The sense of humor for me is number one. They don’t have a sense of humor? They’re not my friend. I had a Scrabble party last night with eight Scrabble friends. I realized we were sitting there, we were laughing and laughing and laughing, I realized every single one of my Scrabble friends — because I have a lot more people that want to play Scrabble — but they’re all funny people. They laugh, they enjoy life. And that’s who you want to be around.

Okay, the other quality, I would say big-hearted. Big-hearted is so undervalued. You get a big-hearted friend, a cluster of great attributes come with them. They’re generous with their time, with their emotions, with their limited resources they want to share naturally, they’re kindly to you and the people you love. They’re not gossipers, they’re not negative. Big heartedness is a big one. My friend Edie, she’s 6 ft. 1 from Berlin, she’s big, tall, oh she’s scary. But you know, you look at her, and all I can see is her heart is five times taller than her height. She’s got the biggest heart! Edie would do anything for any Joe off the street, nevermind me, and I’m her best friend. How lucky am I? My friend Lizzie, I mean, she would take the shirt off her back — when she’s not drinking too much wine. And my gay friends qualify as my girlfriends, by the way. I do have four very good gay male friends.

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Barbara Corcoran, Brittany Galla, Olivia June

VINA: You know the saying “The road to success is often a lonely one.” Did you ever feel lonely during that time? Do you agree with that notion? 
BC: I never did, but you have to remember that I had Ramone Simone, who gave me the $1,000 and he was my business partner, so I had that camaraderie of having a partner in the business. And then when he left me, I made Esther Kaplan my partner, and so I had Esther who was always with me, had my back. She’s a 10 percent partner, you might say that’s not enough but it certainly is, she’s my partner, we planned everything together. I also had a huge family. I was really the mom [of my siblings]. No doubt I was the mom. I loved my kids the way you love kids — my salespeople, my staff. I did anything in the world, I’d spoil them rotten, I’d kill for them, and they would kill for me. So how do you feel lonely in a big happy family, you know? So no, I don’t really feel like I ever felt that way.

VINA: When you were in real estate, it was very much a male-dominated field, as basically all business is. How challenging was that for you?
BC: Huge advantage being the only woman in my field. Huge! I know it’s valid, certainly in the corporate environment to say “oh, the women don’t –” But let me tell you, when you’re in business for yourself, it is not a disadvantage to be a female. And if you’re in a male-dominated business, it’s a huge advantage. I played that card over and over and over again. Everywhere I could, I wore hot pink suits, bright red suits, I had short skirts, I had good legs, I flirted unabashedly with the men because they fall for that shit. Women don’t fall for that. You say, “You’ve gotta be one of the most handsome guys I’ve ever met in my life.” A guy who’s average will agree with you. You say that to a women, she says, “Who’s she? Who’s she kidding?” Because women are smarter, right? It was a great advantage, and you didn’t even need to be remembered. I didn’t care if they knew my name. It’s just “Oh, the woman.” I was the only one. Imagine if I’d had five women competing with me. I couldn’t have had that handle right away. Great advantage. Lucky me. It was an advantage until Lori [Greiner] came on the Shark Tank set. I was the only woman.

VINA: Are there any products or service that you wish existed for women but nobody has created yet?
BC: Invented for women…yes. Let’s think. An excuse book: “But Not Tonight Dear.” Okay, I have the best excuses in the world. Multiple ones, but I ran out probably 10 years ago and now my husband’s pretty much seen through them all. Like, “Is that a cold sore?” “You don’t have a cold sore, Barbara.” He used to fall for that again and again and again!  I would like a big fat book of excuses to avoid sex after you’ve been married 10 years. I only have like a dozen.

VINA: What do you think is the #1 pressing issue in the world today that could be feasibly be fixed in the next 10 years?
Besides politics, I would say technology robs people of so much stuff. Finding a balance there I feel is almost an impossibility. But I feel like I lose — I work very hard not to have technology overtake me, or information overtake me. I shouldn’t say technology, it’s the phone, the goddamn phone, you know? Texts, photos, need for decisions on emails, emails, more emails, copies of emails, things I shouldn’t be copied on. I have five sisters and everything that every sister puts out to one sister copies the rest of us. It’s endless, you cannot keep on top of it. Why I find it difficult — I’m a very neat person, I like to finish things up and I’m very organized, I like a clean closet before I go to bed. That’s the closet that never gets clean, it’s a nightmare. No matter how hard you try, you can never catch up to that closet. And that gives me great anxiety. And so finding a balance there, staying informed, being responsive, making people feel important, it’s all happening through the phone today.

I don’t want to sound like an old person — but I personally don’t have enough quality time having conversations with people. I put a stick in the sand a couple weeks ago — I decided I was going to call one sister every Sunday to have a conversation because I realized I didn’t have a physical conversation with any of them for almost two years now. We text like crazy, but we don’t have a conversation. And my other rule I made a year ago, which I’ve been setting to — if I get a text more than one, two, comes back a third time, I pick up the phone and call. Because that’s a visit. A text is not a visit. And yet, 90 percent of all our relationships are by texts today.

A text is not a visit. And yet, 90 percent of all our relationships are by texts today.

I called my favorite sister, my baby sister, twice, two Sundays in a row. You know what she said when I called a second time? She said, “Barbara? Calling again? Twice in one month? Oh, how nice!” And I felt like crying, honestly. I love her dearly, but all we do is text. And I found out so much of what was going on — it was a visit. You can visit by telephone but you can’t do it by text, that’s what I’ve concluded.

VINA: How do you make time for your girl friends, too?
BC: My friends I see because they’re local, and I am extremely good at putting fun first there, so I make dates with them. So, usually on a Sunday, I look at my next two weeks and say, “Where am I gonna have fun?” So I have tons of dinner parties with friends. My house is party central — I wouldn’t say party-eat-central, I guess, just a bowl of pasta.

I feel lonely when I’m texting, even with my friends. I have a general sense of sadness when I’m texting, even if it’s a happy text, such as, “Hey, happy to hear about your new grandchild, that’s great.” But I feel sad. But you get on the phone, you feel a connection.

VINA: We agree. On VINA, our goal and mission is to encourage women to take their friendships offline and have in real life experiences, so we completely agree with you. That’s why we have 30+ communities for vinas to join, such as New Moms, New in Town, Students, Expats and more.
BC: Oh! That’s great. For making new friends, wow. That’s nice. Especially for women raising kids, those are the loneliest ones.

Start building your girl gang today on the Hey! VINA app. Download, match, make plans and meet up–it’s that easy!

QUICK, HEALTHY MEALS FOR THE ON-THE-GO VINA

With careers, friends, family, and school, we vinas are beyond busy! It’s hard to find time to even eat. Fast food is well, fast. This affordable alternative to a nutritious meal is many times unhealthy and a wallet drainer if eaten too often. Instead, try these delicious meal combos that are good for you and your wallet both and are even Instagram-worthy!

BREAKFAST

As a chocolate advocate, I recommend trying a chocolate quinoa breakfast bowl. Quinoa is known for its multitude of health benefits. It’s also one of the only plant foods with all 9 essential amino acids. This meal is filling with a protein-rich base—and tossing in bananas and berries gives you a tasty serving of fruit.

LUNCH

Dijon chicken and veggies are easy to make and customize with different seasonings for different tastes. The versatility allows freedom to please every taste palette. I like to complement this dish with asparagus and potatoes for a nutritious and filling meal.

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DINNER

A staple of my childhood instantly became one of my favorite meals as I grew up. Red rice and beans with veggies and a hint of lime is just asking for a fiesta in your mouth. This simple dish can even be spiced up with a hint of cilantro.

DESSERT

Perhaps the most important meal of the day—try mini ice cream sandwiches. Putting frozen yogurt with chocolate bits or almond grinds in between two vanilla wafer cookies is my go-to for a cute and simple healthy dessert.

Tried these delicious finds? Tag @vinazine so we can see your yummy creations!

Join our Foodies or Vegans & Vegetarians community on the Hey! VINA app to connect with other vinas who want to try out the local eating scene!

GETTING OVER MENTAL BLOCKS

Every creative woman experiences blocks from time to time. Graphic designers, artists, chefs, writers and career women all suffer from the “banging my head against the desks until that next great idea hits” syndrome. As creatives, we identify with our ability to create. And when our creative abilities fail us, we think we are doing something wrong.

The good news is: you’re not doing it wrong and you don’t have to lose an entire day’s work due to a sucky creative block. Try out the tips below, and soon you’ll be able to tear down that dam and allow your creative juices to flow!

GO FOR A RUN

Or a hike. Or a simple walk around the block. As a student, creative, or career woman, you likely spend too much of your time cooped up in your studio or office. Break that habit by seeking inspiration in the beautiful gift of nature. The secret to abolishing your creative block for good is to get outside, girlfriend! Go into the great outdoors and get your adrenaline pumping. It’s amazing what some good ole fresh air can do for your body and mind.

FREESTYLE

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Not talking dropping 🔥 fire bars 🎵 (unless that’s what you’re working on of course!) But did you ever consider you’re obstructing your creative process by being too rigid?  expecting too much too soon? or playing it by the book too much? When you do this 24/7, you send your creative juices into hideout indefinitely. Release the pressure and allow your mind to freely express itself.

A good example of this is stream-of-consciousness writing. It’s an exercise often used by writers as a means to get the “creative juices flowing.” Forget grammar, spelling and all that, just start writing your thoughts and feelings on paper. The key is to not second-guess anything you’re writing, and really not force the process; Write whatever is on your mind.

SEEK INSPIRATION

Every creative professional has an industry hero or a digital sweet spot that motivates them to create something awesome. For a wardrobe stylist, it may be self-taught stylist June Ambrose. If you’re a stationery designer, you may enjoy the work of Ban.do founder Jen Gotch. Browse through your hero’s portfolio and become inspired to create your own work. Or jump on Pinterest and revisit some of your favorite inspiration and mood boards.

ASK FOR HELP OR AN EXTENSION

Worse comes to worst… simply ask for more time! No client likes to receive material beyond the deadline. However, many clients will understand an occasional delay. Timeliness is important, but sometimes an additional day or week will enable you to produce top-notch work.

Experiencing creative blocks are like pesky little summer gnats. You can put screens in your windows to keep them out, but they always find a way to break through the net. Lean in and stay resilient girlfriend! Even though you have little say in when or where your mental blocks appear, you can still work through them and strengthen your skills in the long run. Remember, inspiration doesn’t happen through your will alone. This is a period of rest for you. Take advantage of it, because your next creative surge is just around the corner!

Need an extra creative boost? You may just find your creative bff on Hey! VINA!

FEARLESS FEMME FRIDAYS: 5 BADASS WOMEN IN THE NEWS

We’re back for another week of empowered women in the news who are inspiring every lady to be the best they can be! Here are our top picks for the week.

LORI ALHADEFF

Courtesy of dearworld.org.

Nobody should know what it’s like to lay their child to rest, but Lori Alhadeff sadly faced that reality last Valentine’s Day when her daughter, Alyssa, fell victim of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Since then, this strong woman has started a non-profit called “Make Our Schools Safe” and created a law in New Jersey named after her daughter. Read her heartfelt letter to Alyssa one year later here.

MARIA JÚLIA COUTINHO

Maria Júlia Coutinho is set to be the first black anchorwoman to report on Brazil’s “Globo Jornal Nacional”! Born on August 10, 1978, Coutinho is smashing the standards of the journalism realm in Brazil.

“A lot of people thought I would be crying in the corridors, but in fact, I’ve been dealing with this issue since forever. Of course, I get very indignant and sad, but I do not wilt,” she said, triumphantly.

JING WEN

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Courtesy of Jing Wen Instagram.

This chinese model, Jing Wen, received serious backlash when people noticed her freckles in her advertisement for Zara cosmetics. Many argued that her freckles weren’t adhering to the aesthetic of Chinese culture, but Wen rose above the negativity and made sure her natural freckles weren’t covered by any foundation.

In 2016, Wen told Vogue she hated her freckles when she was younger because “normally Asian people don’t have them.” She said she finally grew to accept them. “It’s okay. I like them, and that’s enough.” Yay for eliminating unachievable beauty standards!

STEPHANIE LAMPKIN

Stephanie Lampkin is the founder of @Blendoor, a blind recruiting app for job recruiters that hides the candidate’s name and photo to circumvent unconscious bias and facilitate diversity. Its goal is to highlight the information that’s most relevant to a candidate being a “good fit,” independent of race, gender, (dis)ability, military history, or sexual orientation.

Lampkin’s company was recently named as one of  Forbes’ 50 women-led startups changing the face of tech. Here’s to crushing bias and putting gender equality at the forefront of business!

ANASTASIA GARCIA

“Body positivity” is a movement in which you are supposed to love your body and believe that it’s beautiful, and some brands are making way into proving their inclusivity. But is this truly always the case? Anastasia Garcia sees through this mirage.

Some “inclusive” brands stop at size 12 or size 20, which doesn’t exactly feel welcoming for all people. What does that mean for those like Garcia who need sizes bigger than those?

In response to Victoria’s Secret’s pushback on inclusive sizing, Garcia commented, “Does Victoria’s Secret not like money? Your sales have been dropping forever, and 70 percent of women can’t wear your clothing. So let’s do the math here, guys.” You go, girl!

Featured image courtesy of Anastasia Garcia Instagram. 

Here at Hey! VINA, we love strong women who rise above the regular standards of society and do so with pride! Check out vinas in your local community to build a strong gal gang that will support you in everything you do.

 

WHY I QUIT MY JOB AT NETFLIX TO PURSUE WRITING

I quit my job at Netflix. Not because it was awful (it wasn’t), or I hated the people (I love my team), or I had another job lined up (definitely don’t). So… **adjusts reading glasses **… why did I quit, then?

For the last year and a half, I’ve had an absolutely ridiculous dream job at Netflix. My job for the longest time was to build and oversee the social channels for @NetflixFilm. I got to travel to film festivals and watch movies… FOR MY JOB. I created really fun things, like this and this. I met filmmakers who’ve won actual awards and made videos with actors I have no business being in a room with. I worked at Netflix — the thing everyone loves to watch — had coworkers who are the smartest people I’ve met in my life, and was making more money than I’ve ever made.

Which is why it’s maybe the worst feeling in the world to wake up and know you have an incredible job, but also know you’re not meant to be doing it. How to explain this feeling? It’s a tough one. Especially because it’s less of a feeling and more of an inner voice (you know, the deep down authentic version of yourself who just tells it like it is, even if you don’t want to hear it).

And the thing that became clear was this: the problem wasn’t my job — obviously, my job was killer — it was me. I was the problem. Because I wasn’t listening to myself — to that inner voice. I didn’t want to hear my own thoughts, because they were scaring me; leave your job, you should be writing, you aren’t supposed to be here. Those were the last things in the world I wanted to hear. What I wanted was to thrive at Netflix. To build a life for myself there. And I really did try — so hard — but this stupid fucking voice kept popping up to remind me, you aren’t supposed to be here, this isn’t your purpose. I can’t tell you how much I wanted those thoughts to disappear. And if I’m being honest, I’ve had this inner voice for the last few years, I just always chose to ignore it.

Because the easier thing was to continue the course, ride it out, and just push those feelings down. I was being ridiculous. I needed to get over it. Only, I couldn’t. I tried therapy, acupuncture, I bought many bath pillows, y’all… Those offered some temporary relief. But then I’d spend the week at work, and I just kept feeling more and more miserable but didn’t know how to express those feelings. After all, I had a great job, made great money, and loved my coworkers — what’s the problem here? I was constantly complaining, and feeling exhausted, and I stopped liking who I was.

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Which is when I realized that the only way things would change is if I made a choice: I could choose to listen to my inner voice, or keep complaining until I turned into a sad, whiny prune (probably, very likely). My inner voice was telling me to write. To do the thing I’ve always wanted to do — spend a year just pursuing writing and see where it would lead me. This is one of those dreams I’ve had and put on a shelf next to other nice things I’d like to happen, like winning the lottery or moving to an island inhabited solely by cats. Especially because to take a year off to focus on writing sounds irresponsible and indulgent, and like the kind of thing people might judge me for (and I do care deeply about what other people think, I’m working on that). But I started saving money, and telling people I was thinking about making this leap, and the more I saved and was vulnerable, the more of a reality it actually felt like.

So on my birthday this year, I put in my notice at Netflix. I made the choice to quit my job. I’m going to be creative and curious and see where it leads me… ahhhhhhhh.

If you couldn’t tell by that written scream, I’m terrified about what comes next. As of today, I’m officially unemployed. Here’s everything that is currently scaring the shit out of me:

  • My husband and I have a mortgage, and his jobs in TV are never a sure thing. So that’s… fun!
  • I’ve saved up enough money to take a year off… IF I can stick to the very tight, very lean budget I’ve set for myself.
  • I may not get paid at all this year. I might fail. I might not sell anything. That’s a reality.
  • I feel guilty. I don’t completely know why. It feels indulgent to pursue my passion.
  • And even though I’ve published two books (hey, help an unemployed girl out and buy them here and here), I don’t know that I fully deserve this. Have I earned the right to try and do this full-time? Maybe not!

So, I will be writing like it’s a job I’m getting paid for (though, I’m definitely not at this time), and feeling supremely uncomfortable about it. I’ll be working through ideas for books, TV scripts, features, plays… whatever sparks joy (thank you Netflix and Marie Kondo for teaching us this concept). In a year’s time, I may have very little to show for myself, and people might think this is crazy stupid of me to do. I truly can’t predict the future, and I’m not a person who does well with the unknown! What I do know is that I’m choosing to try and change my life. That’s my choice. I hope you can support it. It took me a long time to get to this place.

Maybe this is all a big mistake. Or maybe it’s not.

I do know that I’d never want to look back at my life and think about how I always wanted to take a year off to write but didn’t.

So I’m hurling myself into the great unknown.

Hoping I emerge with an inner voice that’s in a happier, more fulfilled place.

Thank you for reading this. Is there anything you’re curious about knowing, or want to hear more about? I’m happy to talk about how I made this happen through extreme saving (been doing my own nails since 2017, folks), or anything else! Let me know!

Xo

—Originally published on February 8, 2019 on erinlarosacreative.com. 

HOW TO BEAT STRESS WITH FRIENDS

You would never know this if you met me, but I’m a total stress case. The duck who’s calmly and quietly floating along the surface, but furiously kicking their feet below the water is my spirit animal.

I got my first ulcer at the age of 14, and then by the time I was 18, I had lock-jaw, strep throat for six months straight, and psoriasis covering my body head to toe. I had a lot of big goals, some really dark family stuff going on at the time, and a lot of self-imposed pressure to succeed and set off on my own. But when your whole body is basically shutting down because you’re not taking care of it, it can be pretty hard to achieve anything. I had to quickly start learning how to manage and deal with extreme stress at a really young age, and it took me years, several more illnesses, and a lot lower lows than you could imagine before I learned how to cope, manage, and prevent life-debilitating stress.

Firstly, here are the things that I figured out DIDN’T really work:

  1. Throwing myself even deeper into my work and focusing even harder on my goals. Counterintuitive, but I thought that if I just performed better or achieved higher, I would feel more secure in a stressful environment. This was instead a recipe for burnout.
  2. Emotional eating. Whether it was shoveling candy, ice cream, or pizza, or even just eating so much I felt like I was going to explode from fullness, I turned to the junk when stress hit. My brain definitely got its dopamine hits and could feel happy or relieved for a hot second, but this stress eating was really driven by my feelings of fear and just seeking comfort. Food and our emotions have a strong relationship because of how deeply security is connected to nutrition, and it’s pretty easy to go from disordered eating to eating disorder as a result.
  3. Dulling the pain with alcohol. Turning to a glass of wine (or four) to chill out after a stressful day is a self-medication that we’ve all heard about. The reality is that alcohol and other drugs are not “medicine” for stress and should never be used that way, and worse, they only hurt a delicate stressed out system more.
  4. Escaping the issue. Have you ever wanted to just pretend like whatever is bothering you just doesn’t exist? Or have you ever forced yourself to just “suck it up” and power through? Endlessly scroll Instagram? Binge-watch Netflix? Yep, I’ve been there too. But pushing the stress aside and ignoring it will just leave it to bubble inside of you and eventually explode. No thanks.

The number one thing that I found actually worked to prevent and relieve my stress and anxiety? Friendships.

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I’m not just talking about friends to go out and do fun things with. That’s great and all, but at the end of the day, those friendships are part of the escape strategy. I mean the friendships where you bare your souls to each other, friends that pick you up when you are at your lowest of lows, friends that help you find yourself when you lose track of your self-worth, and friends that can help you out of whatever life-ruining impossible situation you think you’re in. If you don’t have at least one of these friends close to where you live right now, it’s time to prioritize making one, because not only do you need these people in your life, but you need regular face-to-face time together, too.

Dr. William Chopik, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology at Michigan State University, agrees. “We don’t have a lot of free time in our lives — we have many demands on us, whether it be from our jobs or our families,” he says. “But having a strong friendship is important — friends provide us with an outlet to enjoy life. In a way, friends help us reduce stress by giving us a break from the hectic pace of life and have fun in sharing activities and hobbies with us.”

I know that making friends as an adult can be difficult. It’s not necessarily something we “learned” how to do in school, and it’s an easy act to sit out from if you’re not feeling confident or in your comfort zone. But as Dr. Chopik explains, new friends provide us with opportunities to try new things and expand our horizons.

“According to self-expansion theory, when we try new activities in new relationships, it broadens aspects of ourselves and what we like to do while enhancing the shared relationship we have with other people,” he shares. “Of course, we can still do new, exciting things with old friends. But making new friends is a way to have many of these new experiences more easily.”

Today, in honor of National Make a Friend Day, I’m challenging each and every one of you reading this to make one new friend this week. Put yourself out there, make a connection, and seek out a person that you’d like to spend more time with. How can you start? “Some of the best things you can do is to think about your interests and the things you like to do,” Dr. Chopik advises. “Then, try to go to those places or engage in communities that share those interests.”

Here are some ways I like to bond with a new friend I’m getting to know:

  • Journal together and read your thoughts to each other.
  • Read a self-improvement book together.
  • Go for a walk and share what’s on your mind, or ask for help brainstorming a solution to a problem.
  • Read the book of questions. My favorite book is 10,000 Questions — it’s guaranteed laughter.
  • Tell a story about something that you care a lot about and what it means to you.

No matter what you do together or what topic you discuss, spend the time with a new friend, and sooner rather than later, it might start feeling like an old friend. And I think we all can agree that’s when the real friendship magic happens.

So go make it happen — and Happy National Make a Friend Day!

Celebrate National Make a Friend Day by downloading Hey! VINA and swiping 👉to find your girl gang! Can’t wait to hear all about it❤️

VINA STORY: HOW HEY! VINA HELPED INSPIRE TWO WOMEN TO CREATE BRUNCHITUPNYC

In a city of millions of people, it may seem rather frustrating to feel alone. But, the truth is, it’s not as abnormal as one might think! Searching for friends with the same interests and values as you is a tough task, but the girls at BrunchItUpNYC have made it a little bit easier for us vinas.

Molly and Leyssa are two 20-somethings who decided that they wanted to foster a girl gang for other vinas who may have felt alone in the sea of people in NYC.

“It’s so important to have a group of girls you can rely on,” they said. “Whether it’s for a much-needed girl talk, or a night out partying, we all need a solid support system!”

And they gave us just that! BrunchItUpNYC was created by these powerful vinas when they felt there was a genuine need for a consistent meet-up event where girls could feel comfortable coming alone to make friends.

Your 20s may feel like a strange period in your life; you might witness others your age getting married and starting to have kids while you’re popping Cheetos in your mouth and watching the season finale of The Bachelor. If you maybe feel as though you fit into the latter category, perhaps this brunch-bunch is made especially for you.

“A lot of us actually are not very new to NYC, but are looking for friends that want to travel, explore and live life to the fullest,” Molly and Leyssa said. “Most of us are in our mid 20s, and a lot of our friends are settling down or moving out of the city.”

Molly and Leyssa at their second BrunchItUpNYC event.

This makes BrunchItUpNYC so impactful and special for vinas. Their first brunch meet-up created on the Hey! VINA app consisted of nine other girls who instantly hit it off. “We talked about our interests, our lifestyle, our goals and somehow we all were just on the same page! We’ve already planned a girls trip to New Orleans next month. I think our group is going to stay close forever!”

No initial awkward silences took away from the fun. The girls played games like “Never Have I Ever” to get to know each other and loosen up, which made for exciting conversations!

The creators of BrunchItUpNYC were able to use Hey! VINA to invite more vinas to join them.

“We heard about VINA through a friend and decided to give it a try,” they said. “VINA provided an amazing platform to promote our brunch meetups on, and the girls on VINA are friendly & looking for fun activities, so it was easy to get a group of them together!”

As for making friends and meaningful connections online, Molly and Leyssa have some advice:

“Don’t be nervous!! Everyone on VINA is looking to meet friends, so everyone feels those nerves in the beginning, but you will end up with amazing new friends, and it will be so worth it!”

Join @BrunchItUpNYC on Saturday, February 16th from 1:45pm-3:30pm for their Galentine’s Day brunch in NYC! And if you’re interested in perusing more events such as this one, check out the Hey! VINA app to meet other like-minded vinas and to create that girl gang of a lifetime.

6 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE STOKED YOU’RE SINGLE IN FEBRUARY

It’s easy to fall victim to the Valentine’s Day blues, resulting in feelings of loneliness, insecurity and self-doubt. But we think you should be celebrating your singleness more than ever in the month of February. And, just in case you don’t believe us, here are six reasons why you should be totally content not being coupled up this year:

TIME TO FOCUS ON OTHER RELATIONSHIPS

There are so many people in your life that love you. Being single gives you more time to be with those people who love you in a non-romantic but just as meaningful way. Check into those relationships that already matter, and give them the love they deserve for once. Go to dinner with your sibling or another single vina!

SAVES MONEY

Valentine’s Day is a big suckhole of unneeded gifts and throwaway sentiments. Instead of spending money to try and prove your love to someone else, start a savings account so you can love yourself down the line!

…AND CALORIES

While everyone else is stuffing their faces with candy, get a leg up, and use this as fuel to become the best-feeling you. Pass up that box of chocolates, and try a boxing class.

HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO

50% off chocolate on February 15th. Enough said. There’s never a reason for you to have to share your favorite foods, candy, heated blanket, etc. Or have to compromise on what TV show to binge watch. They’re all your own decisions, all day, every day. Get it girl.

YOU CAN GIVE BACK

Use your freer schedule as a reason to do a good deed. While everyone else is spending their Valentine’s Day focused on themselves and their partners, you can steer that energy outward. Volunteer at your favorite philanthropy, or babysit for one of your vinas who is in a relationship.

TREAT YO SELF

‘Cause self-love is the highest order of love. Not having to spend money on someone else (see reason two) means you can spend twice as much on yourself if you want! Couple’s massage…Pshhhh, how about two massages for you? Spend that money on some new shoes or that coat you’ve been eyeballing all winter. Because guess what? You deserve it.

How do you celebrate your singleness? Join the Single Ladies and Party Girls communities on Hey! VINA to soak up each other’s awesomeness. 

YOUR PERSONALIZED FEBRUARY HOROSCOPE

Hello, fabulous February! Aptly taking its name from the Latin word ‘februum,’ meaning purification, many vinas will be looking to purge negative habits and get back on track this month—and in more ways than one. Perhaps those New Year’s resolutions fell woefully by the wayside.  And did we mention the diet? Nay? It’s time to slay!

The month begins with a New Moon on the 4th, in the sign of the water bearer, Aquarius. This is a great time to free yourself from whatever is holding you back, embrace positive changes and reconnect with your gal tribe. The Full Moon in Virgo on the 19th is a fantastic time to clear out any chaos in your life, learn to be more accepting of your imperfections and surrender the need to control everything. Time to go with the flow, vinas!

What themes to expect this February? Here’s your personalized horoscope to take you through to the end of the month.

AQUARIUS

Happy Birthday adorable Aqua! It’s your time to shine this month, with the New Moon on the 4th in Aquarius and Mercury in your sign until the 10th.  This month could bring a new opportunity or long-held dream closer to fruition (there may be more than one). This could be the chance to start a new chapter of some kind: to become the best version of your (great) self. Always looking to improve, look to anything which links to your passion for innovation, be it computer or technology related, humanitarian, caring, teaching or building things; All of these areas are very well starred. The Full Moon on the 19th highlights a need to work closely together with partners on issues including finances, debt and taxes. Finding balance is key.

PISCES

The Sun makes its annual cycle through the 12th house, the home of your natal ruler, Neptune. You may have an active dream-world right now, and it’s a great time to start a diary. Your dreams may be giving you inspiration and advice! Self-reflection is the key theme in February, and compassion is called for around any sensitive situations. Beware of any hidden enemies. Birthday blessings are in order for early born Pisceans; The Sun moves into your own sign on the 19th. On the same day, we have a full Moon in Virgo, highlighting your 7th house of partnerships, meaning intimacy is on your mind. With the Mercury and Neptune conjunction in your sign, beware that you may be more sensitive and emotional than usual. Find a creative outlet to express and vent your feelings.

ARIES

This month is a great time to find new friendships (Hey! VINA, anyone?) join groups with shared interests and explore anything that piques your curiosity. The theme of the 11th house is hopes and dreams. Perhaps you’re looking to meet new and like-minded vinas who share your hopes? That’d be a great thing to do right now. It’s a great time to start a new exercise regime or project with your partner around the Full Moon on the 19th. Mars is in your sign until the 14th, so whatever you’re interested in starting, the energy is all yours right now, adorable Aries. Time to slay those New Year’s resolutions.  Just go easy on those you love—they might not be able to keep up!

TAURUS

Matters of career are at the forefront for you until the 18th. And with the New Moon on the 4th, this could mean changes are a-comin’ for you, beautiful bull. Things may be feeling somewhat unpredictable on the work front with Uranus due to move back into your sign in March. Things may feel all work and no play up until the Full Moon on the 19th, which lights your fifth house of creativity and fun. Set your inner child free—it’s time to get expressive! With Mercury and Venus making harmonious links to your Sun during the month, love and lightness are on your mind. A short vacay around Valentine’s Day would be perfect for you, with the sensual Taurus Moon on the 13th connecting sweetly to Venus in Capricorn.

GEMINI

Travel or learning may be on your mind this month, gregarious Gemini. And Mercury is perfectly placed in fellow air sign Gemini, shining a light of approval on your plans. Vinas may be part of these plans—perhaps you’re working on something together, or you may require a short journey for work. Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to travel; You’ll find the place you go resonates with your passions. The New Moon on the 4th means you may even be drawn to a destination that is your spiritual home or that people from different cultures may figure strongly and positively. There’s a focus on your domestic life on the Full Moon of the 19th; A need to balance work/responsibilities with pleasure should be your focus.

CANCER

Heavy matters may be playing on your mind this month, caring Cancer. This New Moon on the 4th highlights intimacy and financial matters, especially relating to your partner. With Saturn in Capricorn opposing to your Sun, you may feel challenged by work matters. As stressful as this is, remember it is building your strength of character.  Around the 19th, communications will increase, errands may need to be run and activity around siblings is heightened. You could be called on for support or be reconnecting in a positive way. Remember to find a balance to free up the time you need to do the things you most enjoy. Once the Sun moves into Pisces on the 19th, you’re feeling more philosophical, and there’s a chance to take a much-needed break or start a new study.

LEO

This month is focused on relationships and intimacy, lovely lioness. The New Moon and Mercury in Aquarius put a close partnership in the spotlight. Perhaps you are looking to combine resources with a loved one, move in together or make a significant joint purchase. Materialistic matters and money are on your mind around the 19th, when you’ll need to be aware of what makes you comfortable and what you’re comfortable with. Comfort zones will be a major theme for you in February, and it’s important to get your house in order, as the focus from the 19th will be on balancing joint finances.

VIRGO

This month the Sun is in your sixth house: the natural home of Virgo. Often referred to as the sign of service, this month should give you the opportunity to improve the areas you are of service, be that of work or to loved ones. The New Moon on the 4th is also a great time to start something new, be it work, a project or a fitness regime. And with the lovely Venus in Capricorn making a beautiful angle to your Virgo Sun during the month, whatever you start this month should definitely bring you pleasure, virtuous Virgo. The Full Moon on the 19th is in your own sign, so the focus is on your own needs. This is a good time to work on your self-assertiveness and communicate your needs in a firm but loving manner.

LIBRA

February is a month of contradictions for you, lovely Libra. You’re likely to be feeling light-hearted and creative around the New Moon on the 4th. You’re inspired and coming up with new ideas. Make sure you’re around people who give you a sense of play and youthfulness—creative types, children and pets are all well-starred. You may feel inclined to plan activities for social gatherings and be creatively inclined until around mid-month, when the Full Moon on the 19th brings more intensity. This is a good time to take a walk in nature, to recharge and reflect on what you really want from life.

SCORPIO

Home is definitely where the heart is this month, sensual Scorpio. You may not be feeling very sociable in February.  You’ll be keen to try new recipes, enjoy good food or simply spend time behind closed doors with close family and loved ones.  This is a good time to express feelings and emotions to loved ones. Around the Full Moon on the 19th, you may suddenly find friends are in the spotlight; Perhaps you’ve outgrown a friendship and are looking to find more likeminded souls—get to checking out the Hey! Vina app. This would be a good time to join a new interest group with similar goals or to sign up for a humanitarian cause.

SAGITTARIUS

February is a month of communication for you, sparkling Sag. Siblings, friends and those you consider as family feature strongly at this time.  Perhaps you’re planning a short trip or have returned from one in late January, and it’s just what you need to revitalise. The Full Moon on the 19th brings a career matter into focus. It could be that your work gets noticed. Or you’re asked to step into a position of responsibility at work, or perhaps a new opportunity arises which offers great promise. With Jupiter in Sagittarius, one thing is for sure — this is a great year to expand your horizons and go after your heart’s desires.

CAPRICORN

Possessions and items of value are in the limelight this month, Capricorn. You might be keen to beautify your home or make a significant purchase, and this would be a great time to do so.  A financial boost or desire to boost your income is positively indicated and could be on the cards, too—which is likely to be music to the ears of the ambitious mountain goat.  The Full Moon on the 19th sees you shift your focus from material and money matters to seek out expansion through mind or travel. You may be learning, exploring or revisiting spiritual beliefs and philosophies or even become interested in distant cultures. You’re ready to take on a new adventure in one of these areas, and it’s good for you.

Whatever your plans, stay fierce and fabulous this February, sweet vinas! Download Hey! Vina to meet your new gal-pal and discuss your horoscope of the month!

5 WAYS SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH BADASS WOMEN EMPOWERS YOU

2018 was a tough and beautiful year for me. It brought painful life changes, valuable realizations and exciting new beginnings. Much of this was due to the support, insight, love and encouragement of the badass women in my life, who actively built me up and helped me recognize my self-worth. I have experienced firsthand the various ways surrounding yourself with such people can have an empowering impact, and I’m excited to share some of them with my VINA community!

INSPIRATION THROUGH THEIR SUCCESSES 😍

There’s nothing quite like seeing the women in your life succeed and getting to celebrate those successes with them. In a society still heavily dominated by men, these successes are all the more meaningful and inspiring, because they remind us we are also capable of achieving our dreams.

Badass women don’t hide their successes; they share them and use them to remind other women not to hold back or be intimidated. They are not threatened by others’ achievements and excitedly share their valuable insight with those willing to listen.

I’m surrounded by countless renegade women who are actively crushing it professionally and personally. They always own their wins and encourage me to do the same–something that can be difficult in a society where men are often encouraged to boast about their achievements, while women are chided for it.

Part of what makes these women so inspiring is their tenacity and drive to go beyond dreaming of accomplishments and to actively pursue them. For example, if they tell you they want to learn a new language, they’ll take the necessary steps to do so, motivating you to do the same with your goals.

THEY ACTIVELY AFFIRM AND BUILD YOU UP 💪

Badass women are quick to recognize when you’re down and all the quicker to remind you how valuable you are and how far you’ve come. They validate your experiences while helping you see the light at the end of the tunnel. They recognize the strength, resilience and potential within you and insist on helping you realize it.

After experiencing a difficult life change in 2018, I felt embarrassed, defeated, and valueless. During this time, I was living (temporarily) with two of the fiercest women I know. There were numerous nights I’d go home to their apartment feeling overwhelmed and depleted. They would immediately offer me warm hugs, hot tea and listening ears. When I doubted myself or my abilities, they pointed out what I’d already accomplished and helped me realize there was far more strength within me than I was giving myself credit for. Their love, kindness and wisdom helped me move forward and rebuild my confidence.

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JUDGMENT-FREE SPACES FOR SELF EXPRESSION 🦄

Badass women are too busy building each other up and getting sh** done to pass judgment on others. They cultivate healthy spaces for you to express yourself without feeling criticized. Do you love eating ice cream at 3 in the morning? No judgment. You’ve worn the same pair of jeans three days in a row? No judgment. You don’t see what all the fuss is about Meryl Streep? Okay, a little judgment, but they’ll still love you!
In judgment-free spaces like this, no topic is off limits.

While living with the powerful ladies mentioned above, I always felt safe opening up about my fears, insecurities and numerous vulnerable topics. Never once was I shut down or made to feel ashamed for what I shared. They encouraged me to be honest and open and made sure I always felt heard and validated.

THEY VALUE THEIR TIME ⏰

A common thread I’ve noticed amongst the badass vinas in my life is how they value their time and care for themselves. They suffer zero fools because they don’t have time to waste on them. They prioritize self-care and eliminate anything/anyone toxic from their lives. Badass women encourage you to follow suit—not wasting energy on empty things or allowing unnecessary negativity into your life. They are aware of their mental, emotional and physical needs and make sure to take care of them.

One such strong woman in my life is incredible at recognizing when she needs time to rest, relax and refocus. She identifies what she needs and values herself enough to prioritize self-care. Watching her care for herself inspired me to do the same—whether it meant stepping away from an activity for some me time, taking a quick nap to reset, or treating myself to a movie or a substantial portion of chocolate chip ice cream.

CELEBRATE WINS, GROW FROM FAILURES 🙌

Empowered women jump at the opportunity to celebrate your achievements. They’re excited to see you move forward and live your best life. They also come alongside you when you experience failure to share their own stories; They help you see where you can improve and what you can do to be successful in the future.

All throughout this past year, I’ve had a circle of vinas all around me to celebrate triumphs, big and small. They have cheered for me, affirmed me and made sure I took time to soak each one in. If things didn’t work out how I planned or turned into a complete mess, they offered me valuable insight and encouragement to help get me back on track.

The best thing about badass women? They’re everywhere! All around you are women taking sledgehammers to the glass ceiling and over-the-moon about equipping others to do the same. Empowered women empower women–they build each other up and help each other move forward. And, finally, badass vinas make sure you know you yourself are one badass woman.

Ready to meet some renegade vinas? Jump on the Hey! VINA app and get swiping to get connected. 

Q&A WITH BOSS BABE SHANNA TYLER: HOW I STARTED LIVING THE LIFE I WANTED TO LIVE

When VINAZINE was introduced to all-around boss babe Shanna Tyler, we knew we had to give her all the VINA love. The yoga instructor, life coach, blogger and podcaster has overcome some dark times in her life to get to the inspiring path she’s on. Read on hear her advice, her big goals for 2019, and what her ideal VINA date would be!⚡️

Q: On your blog, you’re very open about a painful time in your life when you were depressed. What inspired you to be so honest and raw upfront? Can you tell us about that time of your life and how that impacted you?
A: Yas! I love to lead with the darkest period in my life, which was when I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder in 2014. I was involuntarily hospitalized for my suicidal ideations. Ain’t nothing more RAW than that!
I always had an underlying sadness about me. Something that just didn’t feel right. But in 2014, I believe I really hit my edge. I wasn’t living a fulfilling life at the time. I moved to a new state, worked a job that didn’t make me happy, and felt really lost in what I wanted to do with my life. I had no hope. I called my mom and she took me to the hospital who made it mandatory for me to go to an inpatient facility.
My experience was terrifying at first. I had no phone, no computer, nothing but my thoughts, my peers and my supports (therapist, psychiatrist, counselors, etc.). However, I will say it really helped me to grow as a person. Group therapy, individual therapy and prescription of Lexapro really got me ready to go back out into the world. I left with a newfound confidence in my life and hope in my life that I can find what I love!

Q: Why was it important to you to start the conversation on mental health?
A: It’s so important to me because I believe our mental health struggles are ones that we stay so hushed about. Part of my personal goal is to keep it really real on topics that we, especially as women, don’t talk about. One of the biggest one is our minds. We fear being seen as vulnerable or weak, but us being open really does the opposite. It empowers us! Let’s share our stories, seek treatment and then uplift others!

Q: How did you start to pick up the pieces? What really helped you to find YOUR happiness?
A: I had to look for the pieces for a long time before I could pick them up. Trying out so many things helped me find out MY happiness. I tried out so many avenues before I arrived at my current career as a full-time entrepreneur and life + biz coach supporting entrepreneurial women to build their brands and businesses. I pursued a social work degree just to realize half-way through the program that it wasn’t what I really wanted. I became certified in yoga to realize that I don’t want to teach full-time and want to teach part-time and on my own terms.  I hosted monthly events only to find out that I wanted to host only one annual event and launch my podcast. It all took discovery and finding the pieces then picking them up, putting them down and finding what fits!

Q: So many women can relate to this feeling of being lost and not knowing their next step. What is your best, most practical advice?
A: If it’s career-wise, I will say find out what you love. That thing that you really love to do. It doesn’t even feel like work sometimes. Then make money off it 🙂

Q: How did you start carving out the career you wanted?
A: I love this question! I started trying out so many things like I mentioned above. I also never quit, I just molded and transformed my career into something that was fun and profitable! I tapped into my strengths which is supporting other women and walking along with them on their journeys. I also tapped into my gift of gab with a podcast. Events were beginning to drain me and teaching yoga more than three to five times a week was too much for me. I still love these things, but they’re not what my career is based on. I’m a life + biz coach for entrepreneurial women and the community founder and podcast host of The Self Soul Sport Podcast. WOOT!

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Photo courtesy of Shanna Tyler

Q: For women who want to start a blog or a podcast, but have no idea how to start, what’s your best advice?
A: With both a blog and podcast, start brainstorming what you can talk about without hating it. Cause at the end of the day, a blog and podcast are all about passion. It’s going to be a labor of love. You’re gonna have your momma or bestie as your only reader for a while before it really takes off (unless you have an established audience already!) Once you find what you want to talk about, get a Squarespace website up, take about an hour on your website, and create your first blog post. Google, ask friends, network with other bloggers you look up to, so many tips!

My podcast was pretty easy to launch because I already hosted community events and had an audience with my blog! I shared it in my newsletter and my Instagram feeds. It really did well! I also will say it’s so helpful to have guests who share with their audience who become listeners!

Q: Love that advice. So what made you want to be a life coach?
A: The Shanna from three years ago is my inspiration. When I started my personal brand and website/blog in 2016, I was so lost. I didn’t know what my brand was, who my audience was, how I wanted to proceed, what I wanted to do in the future. I truly believe if I had all of that together in 2016, I would’ve propelled faster and smarter in my biz. So that said, I want to really inspire the woman who is lost and looking to build something but not sure what yet.

Q: What do you offer clients?
A: I offer 1:1 coaching sessions for side-hustlers, those who have side-hustles, and new entrepreneurs. In these sessions, we work on building a foundation for your brand, monetizing your brand into a business and much more. It’s so much fun and I love what I get to do every day. I’m also working on my group coaching program that I’m so pumped to launch this year!

Q: For anyone who is feeling down, depressed or uninspired, what can they start to today that would help them?
A: Gratitude journal! I will say this is a huge game changer for me. Grab a notebook, write down 7-10 things you’re grateful for and repeat it every single morning.

Q: What are your big goals for 2019?
A: 1. Publish and sell my very first e-book. 2. Create online courses for my audience. 3. Launch my very first Get It Done Program for entrepreneurial women.

Q: Lastly, tell us your ideal VINA date?
A: Wine, tacos and laughter!!

Use Shanna as your inspiration to get yourself out there! Join Hey! VINA today and start meeting your tribe in communities like Entrepreneurs or Yogis. Start living the life YOU want to live—VINA is here for the ride!✌️

Q&A WITH BRITTANY DEANDA AND TARA SCHULENBERG: “WE ARE HUMAN BEINGS THAT THRIVE ON CONNECTION BUT, ULTIMATELY, IT STARTS WITH US FIRST”

For Brittany Deanda and Tara Schulenberg, two best vinas from Los Angeles, CA, their friendship story started early. Meeting at a ballet class when they both were just 12 years old, the two besties are now high vibrational lifestyle experts, yogis who practice Kundalini yoga and co-founders of the mind/body/spirit podcast, Elevate the Globe.
We talked everything from astrology, to what exactly Kundalini yoga is, to how they found their tribe. Check it out!
Q: Let’s start with your career paths and how you found your love for yoga. Did you both find Kundalini yoga at the same time?
Britt: I was working in sales/marketing until I found Kundalini and really dove into the practice about nine years ago. I started High Vibe Livin’ which was the name of Elevate the Globe until about a year and a half ago. I really knew I wanted to help elevate others through this practice because it transformed my life so much and helped me to release addictions and changed how I felt dramatically.
Tara: I began to dive into astrology first about five years ago, and then found out about Kundalini through Britt and started practicing in San Francisco where I was living at the time. We went to John of God in NY together and received all of the messages and downloads about us working together to create what is now Elevate The Globe.

Q: What is Kundalini yoga for us newbie yogis?
A: Kundalini yoga is the yoga of awareness, and it is a very an ancient practice that uses the technologies of breathwork, movement and mantra. It was the first yoga created, and this practice works the fastest for someone to reach a higher consciousness because of the holistic science that works on all of the 10 bodies, all of the internal systems and mind. We have found and seen first hand that kundalini yoga will accelerate one into a spiritual awakening and open up many doors that were not accessible before.

Q: How can Kundalini help a person?
A: Kundalini can help each and every one of us to rewire our subconscious mind and change our patterning (sometimes picked up in childhood) and bring us into higher vibrational energy quickly, through the breath, postures, meditation and mantra. We hear so many stories through our online communities of how this practice has changed their lives—we always have to pause and really read what people say because there are so many and they are all so miraculous.
Q: Hey! VINA is all about helping vinas find their community. Why is community important to you both?
A: Community is so important to us because it helps us to elevate each other and bring awareness to so many places around the globe. We are all so much stronger together than we are alone. When you are awakening your Kundalini energy and experiencing ascension, it’s important to have someone to share and talk about it all with to feel safe, grounded and secure. It’s also part of this Aquarian Age we’re now in—connecting in the community and sharing ourselves with others to remember we are not separate beings, we are all the same, all made of energy and all connected through one consciousness.

Q: Did you ever deal with loneliness? What helped you through it?
A: Oh yes!! Loneliness is all a part of the process and we went through it, definitely. We are still building our new tribe as we are evolving but, ultimately, we found that healing and self-love allows us to find peace and company within ourselves so that no matter what, we feel full and supported.
Loneliness is a lower vibration and, no matter what lower vibration we are working to heal, it starts with going within and doing the energy work to clear blocks or stagnant energy within the corresponding chakras that relate to whatever lower emotion you’re going through, to elevate to a higher frequency energy and emotion. It’s all a process.
Then after we work on a subconscious energetic level, we do the conscious mindset work. We practice the Law of Attraction with everything in our lives, so if you are feeling lonely and focusing on how alone you are, that is what you will feel more of. If you want to move through the loneliness, focus on what you want and on the relationships you do have. Focus on love and connection and visualize what that looks and feels like. And have fun! Sometimes we get too serious and when we are enjoying the journey and connecting to joy, everything flows easier! Whatever makes you feel joyful we always suggest adding more of that and anything that’s not, get rid of it.
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Q: Why do you think loneliness is on the rise?
A: A lot of people are searching outside of themselves and always looking for approval from others but lacking actual human connection. Happiness is our birthright and this feeling and knowing can only truly come from the self. You must go within to see what parts of yourself are calling out for your attention and work with yourself from the inside out.
It’s so cool to see energy work and mindfulness on the rise and we see that as the start of releasing the loneliness so many feel. The culture in the U.S. especially is much more soloed than other countries where families and communities are very close-knit. It takes intention and energy to connect and make community a priority, but there are so many ways not to feel alone. It’s one of the main reasons we have created this community: to help more people find connection online and in-person. There are so many ways to connect, it’s just about putting yourself out there and attracting like-minded and hearted people! Social media helps so much to find your tribe! Many people can see social media as being anti-social but we feel just the exact opposite–it’s just a new way of being social with others and connecting with people from around the globe.
Q: How important is having your “tribe” in terms of finding your personal happiness?
A: Having a tribe is all about love and support.  We are human beings that thrive on connection but, ultimately, it starts with us first. Personal happiness is about you and not anything outside of yourself. When we love ourselves and allow ourselves to heal through whatever it is we carry with us, we are able to give and receive love at a high capacity. Then having your tribe makes life so much better and more fun!
Q: What sparked your interest in astrology?
Tara: I have always been interested in and fascinated by the stars, the planets and what’s going on out in the universe since I was a little girl. My mom actually had my chart written up when I was young and, when I held it in my hands, it was some sort of remembrance—I knew this information and how to utilize it. I’ve always turned to astrology and numerology to help me understand the world around me, and it was a system I was just naturally drawn to help me understand myself and others.
Britt: I use it to be in harmony with the energy of the planet and I love to use Kundalini to align with the energy of the astrology through the meditations and kriyas I’m doing. I love feeling the energy and using my intuition and then seeing how it matches up and aligns with what’s going on!! Tara knows my whole chart and does all the astrology for our business and timing, so it’s great having her as a resource for it all.

Q: What astrology signs do you see having a great 2019? Why?
A: All of them! We deeply believe in the Law of Attraction, remember? Everyone will have a good year if they want to and focus their energy on it!
This year in numerology is a 3 year which is all about creative self-expression, being social and connecting with others, and expansion…so we can ALL use this energy to upgrade our lives. Of course, we all align differently to the planets with our signs but overall, if we are tapping into ourselves and our surroundings, we trust that everything—even the perceived challenges—is truly a blessing! Overall, this will be an easier year for everyone at a universal level than 2018. Last year was an 11/2 year which called for massive spiritual growth and awakening…which can leave some of us grumpy and feeling alone. This year will be so much more fun, and we know so many people are already feeling this creative, social energy.
If you want to connect with other yoga-lovers in your area, be sure to join our Yogis Community on Hey! VINA and start swiping. Your tribe is waiting for you, no matter your interests or hobbies. Join, swipe and make plans!
First photo courtesy of Ashley Streff.

Q&A WITH BEAUTY GURU JAIME MCLAUGHLIN: “BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR CAN BE LONELY”

For Jaime McLaughlin, online business entrepreneur, blogger and the beauty guru behind the Beauty Guide Collection, promoting self-care is at the top of her list. As a hair and makeup artist for 14 years, Jaime decided she wanted to empower women with everything they needed to do makeup like a pro, so she launched curated beauty courses. Read on to hear about Jaime’s story, the many obstacles she faced in her life, her struggle with loneliness and more.

Q: Tell us about your journey to where you are now. Was makeup something that always interested you?
A: Goodness, yes! I was always obsessed with playing in my aunt’s stash of MAC makeup under her sink. She was a photographer and would always doll us up and do our photos for practice. I remember always wanting to play with her makeup the entire time. I got such a high off of it! Fast forward to high school, I still enjoyed doing it and was the makeup artist for all of my friends. I did their hair and makeup for proms, homecomings and had a blast. One day (when I was 16 or so), someone asked me to do their hair and makeup for a wedding—they wanted to pay me! So, I charged them $25 per person. I thought I was rolling in the dough for making a couple hundred dollars in one day! That sparked my passion to turn this into a career.

Q: When did you have the idea to offer online beauty classes?
A: Before teaching online courses, I was an actual hair and makeup artist. I worked on clients for 14 years, doing anything from weddings to production sets. It was incredible but, as my family grew, it became harder to be as available to all my clients. Early in 2018, I had this idea to essentially create an online hair and makeup lesson that anyone could access at any time. I loved doing one-on-one lessons, but scheduling was so hard. So I created an e-book that included all of my recommended products. Then, I recorded videos to guide my clients through a step-by-step process on how they too could create simple everyday makeup looks.

Q: How do the courses actually work?
A: I created a set of e-courses or online masterclasses, which are essentially one-on-one lessons with me. They range from low-cost e-books to higher priced video courses.

Q: It sounds easy, but I know the path was probably hard to get to where you are now. Walk us through some of the biggest obstacles you’ve faced.
A. Oh man, I have faced so many obstacles. Early in my career, I was a young, single mother—that was hard enough as it is. Learning how to navigate running a small business in the wedding industry was extremely challenging. That industry is so emotional for the clients. As a business owner, I was learning how to set expectations, assessing my own worth and what to charge, understanding a proper contract and identifying how to stand up for myself as a business owner.

It was the best job ever, but also very stressful. When I decided to convert in-person clients into presenting my knowledge and skills via e-courses, that decision brought on an entirely new set of challenges. The beauty industry is exploding right now with YouTubers, Instagrammers and makeup artists giving away their content for free. But, I know that when people have some skin in the game, (when they actually have to pay for content), they consume it more intentionally. I knew I didn’t want to be another YouTuber or beauty guru giving away my content for free and getting paid to push products that I didn’t really believe in. Therefore, a big challenge is staying motivated to know my worth, value my knowledge and advise my customers that my expertise is worth spending money on.

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Q: A lot of Hey! VINA users join the app to meet friends in their area since adulting can be lonely. Was there ever a time in your life when you were lonely?
A: Totally! Being a young single mom was hard. My peers were out partying, going to college and just being young adults. Which was great for them. But for me—I had to grow up quickly. That led to some pretty lonely evenings once the baby was down. Regardless of age, it is hard being a single mom. Essentially, you don’t really have someone to share the exciting times with. I would have seriously benefited from an app like Hey! VINA in my early mama days!

Q: How did you find your tribe?
A: My tribe is small but mighty. Again, I have four kiddos and run a business—so time is limited in this current season of life. But, it really took me making sure I actually left the house. As a mom, its hard! You are tired. You have to deal with nap schedules and everything else that comes with kids. Sometimes, you don’t want to go anywhere. But forcing yourself to get out of your comfort zone, start conversations and realizing that everyone is nervous to talk to someone new—so just do it anyway! I also joined a moms group which was really great for me to hang out consistently with other women. Also, social media has been really great for creating an online tribe of business mamas. It’s so cool that we can connect virtually to anyone in the world.

Q: Would you say it’s lonely being an entrepreneur?
A: Totally! I think most entrepreneurs are pretty high achievers. Often times, they get stuck in their own heads and in their ideas and vision. Sometimes, I start working, look up at the clock and realize five hours have gone by and I’ve been sitting in the same spot on my computer. Thankfully my husband is home with me, so I get a lot more adult interaction than I did prior to him working outside of the home. But yes, being an entrepreneur can get pretty lonely—especially if you don’t have an office space or a big team (yet).

Q: What is a common mistake that women make when shopping for beauty products?
A: Oh man, getting sucked into the sales pitches and IG trends! I am even guilty of it! Also, everything is SO pretty and they always have the most amazing packaging. But the truth is, most women don’t even use a quarter of the makeup they have. It just goes to waste. That is why I teach my students the core products that are multifunctional and will last them a while. Less wasted money and less disappointment on “popular” products that are pushed by bloggers, but don’t really work for the majority of women.

Q: On the VINA app, we ask users to describe themselves in 5 emojis. What would yours be?
A: 💄🤓💻💪💆🏻‍♀️

Q: If you could swipe right on any celeb and go on a VINA date with them, who would it be and why?
A: Jennifer Lawrence. She is so freaking hilarious and down-to-earth. I love that! I think it would be the most entertaining VINA date, ever!

Thanks for talking to VINAZINE, Jaime! Vinas, are you interested in taking one of her beauty courses? Get The Complete Guide to Beauty course for $97 (versus $129) by using the discount code HEYVINA here! And if you’re looking for other vinas to connect with, download Hey! VINA, join communities and start swiping right.

 

GETTING INTO YOGA FOR THE ABSOLUTE ROOKIE

As a former athlete (gymnast to be exact), I’m used to putting my body into precarious positions. After being injured in a competition many moons ago, I’ve struggled to find an activity that not only challenges my body but doesn’t exacerbate my injury while doing so.

Being sympathetic to my dilemma, a girlfriend of mine suggested I try “hot yoga” (hot what now?!) I had never heard of it, let alone knew where to sign up for it. After my initial confusion passed, she invited me to her local studio. 90 minutes and 800 buckets of sweat later, I emerged from the studio declaring I’d never try that again! However, my interest was peaked by the stretching and fluid movements of the practice. I decided to dig a little more and research the different types of yoga so I could find the best class for me.

The first thing I did was make a list of the different types of yoga and, based on their description, would decide which one would be best for my super basic level of proficiency. Also, one that wouldn’t cause me to sweat out my body weight before the end of class. Although I found quite a few different types, there seemed to be five that were the most popular with classes being easily found.

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HATHA

You’ll find this term used very loosely in the yoga world, as every style is technically Hatha in practice. It refers mostly to being introduced to the very basic postures of yoga. This would be perfect for a beginner or someone looking to get a little more limber before jumping into a full-blown style.

ASHTANGA

Popularized in the 1970s by K. Pattabhi Jois, this style focuses on sequencing each posture with your breath. Although super fluid, this is a demanding style that will definitely work up a sweat.

VINYASA 

Translated from Sanskrit as “to place in a special way,” this style also follows a specific sequence of movements as with Ashtanga but allows for an infinite combination of those sequences. Think of this as the pick-your-own poison type of yoga – no two classes will be the same. Promise!

BIKRAM 

A.k.a, hot yoga—sort of. Introduced by Bikram Choudhury, Bikram yoga is all about the sequence of its 26 poses. Taught in heated rooms, this class is very specific in how each pose flows into the next, which is why not all Bikram classes are hot yoga classes. Any class that deviates from the exact 26 pose sequence Choudhury established cannot call itself “Bikram.” However, all Bikram classes are technically hot yoga classes. Confused yet? See “80 buckets of sweat” above for clarification.

IYENGAR

This style is hyper-focused on proper alignment and breath in each pose. Yoga props are often used to assist in the ultimate stretch and, being such a meticulous style, the instructors must go through rigorous training to gain certification. This style is also touted to be the best style if you have an injury or chronic condition because of the steady, focused hold and stretch challenges. Bingo!

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It may look way over your head at first, but yoga is one of the best forms of exercise you can do for your health. Not only does it involve your core and many of your muscle groups, but it also brings mental clarity and relaxation. So don’t be afraid to try it—start slow and easy, doing only the exercises you feel comfortable for the amount of time you can hold it. The beautiful thing about this practice is that it is very much an individual experience (in a group setting), which allows you to focus on incremental growth and personal improvement.

Still a bit scared to try it on your own? Head over to the Hey! VINA app and find a yogi vina to join you in your flow! 

WHAT IS HAPPINESS TO YOU?

Happiness: How do you define it? I don’t mean, “ Hey Siri, what is the definition of happiness?” I mean when you think of happiness, what pops in your head? Is it hot cocoa on a cold day, or is it hanging out with family and friends? For all my taken ladies, maybe it’s being in the arms of your lover! For my single vinas, maybe it’s Channing Tatum’s rock-hard “Magic Mike” abs. Happiness is different for everyone and is not usually any one thing. No matter what form it comes in, we need to realize when it comes knocking and embrace it.

My happiness? The little things. Of course, getting published one day would make me happy, but the real happiness? The kind that stays with you in the toughest of times? They are born through any one of my five senses and live on in your heart as mere mental moments, like the sound bites that life provides in the most subtle ways. Happiness is the sound of my little sister’s laugh, her smile, the look in her eyes when she discovers something new. It’s looking in the mirror and seeing something worth loving, putting together a cute outfit that I didn’t steal from Instagram. It’s the taste of success big and small, the feeling of petting my cat, Pepper. Happiness comes in many shapes and sizes, and sometimes I don’t even know it’s happiness coming to say hello until the moment has come and gone. However, I appreciate it all the same.

Happiness isn’t something to be chased, because it is all around you, sitting in plain sight, hanging around in places called opportunities. All we need to do is reach out and grab them.

About two years ago, I had broken up with my boyfriend of six months, and my 18-year-old heart was pretty bent out of shape. It didn’t have much to do with him, but rather me questioning why I wasn’t allowed to be happy; Why couldn’t I simply have a man to be there and make me smile? Quite frankly, I wanted to be someone’s world, and that’s when the light bulb lit up, and I realized that my happiness was right in front of me. I didn’t reside in a man. It was about the moments in front of me that happened every single day. I had to learn to appreciate the little things and let them fill me up with the joy and love that I deserved and from that.

So after all of this, let me ask you: what does happiness mean to you?

Share your happiness with the people you love – get on the Hey! VINA app to find vinas that share your “joy language.” 

 

FROM TEXT TO IRL: HOW TO MAKE YOUR VINA DATE HAPPEN

You swiped right, texted daily on the phone and are now eager to meet up and connect IRL. We’re talking vina dates here! It is a much more exciting process, subjectively speaking, to connect and make new friends, as sisterhood is so important. This should ease your nerves. But, in reality, this is still a nerve-racking moment. You are officially going to meet your vina in person. How do you go from texting to that first official date? Let this vina give you some tips!

LOCATION MATTERS

It is always essential to pick a date spot that allows you to connect with your vina. Do not pick someplace like the movies. Similar to any romantic date, conversation is key when trying to connect with someone. Humans bond with communication. This can allow you both to open up about your lives and see if there’s chemistry there. I would suggest finding a spot like a café, or a cool lunch spot, where you can relax and open up to one another. For thinking outside the box, think about going to a paint-and-sip or a nail date. The key is to pick a place that is open and doesn’t force you to be too distracted so you can pay attention to your vina. When presenting this idea to your new potential bestie, work with each other’s schedules. By now, conversations on the phone has allowed you to learn the basics: their location, occupation, age, etc. This will ease the scheduling process to get that first date in the books.

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DON’T DILLYDALLY

You’re on Hey! VINA to meet new friends—and so are the other vinas. So what are you waiting for? It’s nice to send an introductory message and a few key facts about yourself and vice versa, but the fact of the matter is that friendships are made IRL. So bite the bullet and be the first one to ask your vina match out for a coffee date (or whatever your heart desires). Chances are they’ll be more than happy to; after all, that’s what they’re on there for.

BE YOURSELF

Once your vina accepts, then congratulations! My only advice from then on is to be yourself. Your authentic energy is what drew them to you in the first place. Go on that friend date with an open heart and mind. No matter the outcome, as long as you were yourself, then there is nothing to worry. As stated before, it is okay to be nervous. You want people to like you. You want that same chemistry you got from them over the phone.  Quality time is so essential to establishing friendships and maintaining them. The first date with your vina shouldn’t be seen as a hurdle, but a beautiful moment you can share with someone to connect and possibly build a long-lasting connection.

To any vinas out there getting ready for their first friend sesh: Take some deep breaths. Tell yourself that this is someone you have already connected with and that the same vibe will be felt in real life. Go on that date being your best self and let things organically flow. Know that you are worthy of a healthy, positive and beautiful friendship. You are enough, and the love and care you give as a friend are enough. The most important thing? Enjoy yourself and this new person in front of you—that’s the whole reason to do it.

May we all open ourselves to new, long-lasting and beautiful friendships in the new year and beyond!

Make that first date happen! Get on the Hey! VINA app today to connect with some kickass vinas. 

CHAMPAGNE TASTE ON A BEER BUDGET: THE ULTIMATE NYE BASH FOR LESS

The trick to falling in love with New Year’s Eve is to not take it so seriously. I went through a phase where I hated the holiday because it just felt like too much money and too much hype, and I was always disappointed by one or the other. So, a few years ago I decided to take back NYE by taking it less seriously. One of my favorite ways in the past few years to do this is by throwing my own party. Not only do you literally not have to leave the house, but you also get to control a lot of how your evening plays out (I’m not a control freak, I swear). But, parties get pricey quickly, so below are a few tips to stay in budget while also throwing a killer bash.

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The playlist is everything. This will prevent everyone else from putting on their terrible music and help keep the vibe up. Mix it up between some old classics, ’90s music, and as we get later into the evening, some serious dance party jams. Just in case you were briefly considering hiring a DJ, don’t.

All you need is lights. Don’t even worry about other decorations. String lights and twinkle lights and lantern lights. NYE is all about the glitter, so it’s really the only special decor you’ll need to get the vibe going. (Plus, string lights are on super sale right now since the holidays just ended!)

The dollar store is your friend. Hit up your local dollar store and stock up on party hats and noise makers because they’re really the thing that separates New Year’s from any other party. Don’t forget the obligatory 2018 plastic sunglasses!

BYOC: bring your own champagne. When you send out your invite, tell your vinas to all show up with champagne in hand, this way you never run out and you don’t have to spring for several cases.

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Thrift for your dress. It’s easy to feel like you have to drop a chunk of change on the perfect dress, but it ain’t so. People make tons and tons of donations during the holidays. It is one of the best times to go scouring through the racks. Some babe’s 2017 dress is your oh-my-gosh-it’s-perfect 2018 dress.

Delegate duties to your vinas. You’re hosting, which is arguably the most important job for any party, so feel free to call on the troops and ask them to lend a helping hand. Whether it’s making appetizers, grabbing extra booze, or helping you clear the furniture from the living room to make room for a dance floor—chances are, they will be excited to help!

Late night junk food is a crucial party element. On NYE, the drunchies will strike and, as host, you’ve got to be ready. As we get older, we almost expect to be fed when we go somewhere, whereas at a younger age I was fine with drinking all night long. Food is a must at some point. But this can be the biggest spender. It might sound silly, but frozen pizza is the best invention ever. All you have to do is put it in the oven, and then cut it up into little pieces on a cute wood cutting board. People will be ecstatic when you bring it out, and they start at just a few dollars in the frozen section. Don’t get fancy here, everyone’s going to be too smashed to notice.

Most importantly, remember that simple is best. The biggest money drains come from the little things because they add up quickly. No one is going to miss the $25 dollar candles that you didn’t buy at the farmer’s market, no one cares if the orange juice for their mimosa is freshly pressed, and last year’s dress is still just as cute as ever. The key to a killer New Year’s Eve is to care less and enjoy yourself more with your friends!

What are your NYE plans? Check out the Hey! VINA plans in your city to end 2018 with a bang!

THE BENEFITS OF A PLANT-BASED DIET

Have you considered changing up your diet in the new year? Well, Dr. Caroline Hartridge, an osteopathy doctor trained in whole foods plant-based medicine, knows a thing or two about alternative evidence-based approaches for a healthier lifestyle. Whether it’s a diet based on plants and veggies, or treating conditions through organic solutions, she guides VINAZINE readers through all-things natural in this exclusive interview. Read on! 🌱🥗

Q: For someone who’s never heard of a plant-based diet, what are some easy ways to incorporate it into their daily routine?
A: It’s quite easy to do and doesn’t take much effort. Put some lemons in your hot water in the a.m. When you’re building your smoothie in the morning, try dropping in some fresh produce in there for more nutrition. Warm grains are also perfect for an easy breakfast and give you quite a boost of energy. The basic thought should be: Think about whole, identifiable foods from the earth – like a baked potato instead of french fries. Also, switch to plant-based dairy options!

Q: Can you explain osteopathy for those who aren’t familiar with it?
A: There are two types of fully licensed physicians in the U.S.: Medical Doctors (MD) and Doctors of Osteopathy (DO). The DO’s physician study is guided in the thought that the human body is a unit of the body, mind, and energy, soul or spirit. The body is constantly striving toward healing, and structure and function are interrelated. The way osteopathist doctors work is that they take these previous statements into consideration for rational treatment. In addition to thinking about disease differently, osteopaths spend extra time in school learning about the diagnosis and treatment of all tissues using touch.

Q: What is the biggest health or diet mistake you see happening right now?
A: That would be the myth surrounding protein — the gorilla isn’t worried about protein and neither should you. If you eat your plants, the nourishment is already present in perfect proportions. So just keep on eating them and be happy!

Q: If you could give one piece of health advice, what would it be and why?
A: My advice would center around dairy for bone health; dairy is actually acidic and removes calcium and magnesium from your bones. If you want to build your bone health for sustainability, reproduction and beyond, give your body some plants! Period.

Q: What is your favorite easy go-to recipe?
A: Kale salad – raw and finely chopped – with warm quinoa, any veggies I have in the fridge, tahini, lemon and garlic, as well as a dash of pink salt and lots of black pepper. In the amount of time my quinoa cooks (pro tip: I like to toast it in the dry, hot pan before adding the water for another layer of flavor), I can chop and assemble the salad. This is my go-to and happy place.

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Dr. Caroline Hartridge

Q: We have a Vegan and Vegetarian community on Hey! VINA, as well as a Foodies community. How is it helpful to connect with other vegans when you are adapting to a lifestyle/diet change?
A: I think it is essential to have easy access to a positive community. Finding like-minded foodies can be a challenge and good food is a good quality of life. We are all on our own journey to wellness and plant-based living. The Hey! VINA community provides space to share our perceived barriers and successes!

Q: What is the benefit of joining a healthy community in your opinion?
A: Manifest the life you want. What you put in your body, on your body and around your body matters significantly! You are awake. Take responsibility. Surround yourself with energy that is consistent with your greatest good. When we take time to reflect on these points, the benefit of joining a healthy community like the one on Hey! VINA is a kind, compassionate loving choice for yourself and others.

Q: Why should more people explore alternative medicine to cure certain illnesses? What evidence-based examples can you provide of women you’ve helped?
A: I love my practice and patients! They inspire me to learn. I can think of several patients who have used plant-based medicine, osteopathy, talk therapy and medical cannabis to develop a whole new level of health and quality of life. One in particular, a young woman in her 30s, was using a walker and in severe pain from a work injury in polypharmacy, or the simultaneous use of multiple drugs by a single patient for one or more conditions. After over a year of working together, she is off all medications, doing yoga and pursuing a new education and career. Holding space for these types of sustainable changes is an absolute privilege. If you’d like more info about what I do, you can head over to www.drhartridge.com.

Q: How can other people work with you?
A: I offer personal, family and corporate wellness experiences catered to each individual or group. One of them is in Playa Chiquita, Costa Rica or there’s a Dealer’s Choice – I work with Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in the destination of your choosing to create a relaxing, wellness-centered vacation. Spots are still open for 2019 – all trips include accommodation, food, one-on-one’s with myself, cooking lessons and access to an array of on-site services.

Sticking to a healthy lifestyle is easier when you have a vina by your side! Download the Hey! VINA app to meet other nutrition-centric vinas in the Vegans and Vegetarians community. Then, go grab a green smoothie together!

 

Q&A WITH ORFEH OF BROADWAY’S “PRETTY WOMAN”: “I LOVE HOW SUPPORTIVE KIT IS OF VIVIAN”

Have you heard? We’re hooking up three VINA matches in NYC with a chance for an epic #vinadate to see Broadway’s Pretty Woman … and yes, you still have a chance to win! If you live in NYC, make a match until Dec. 29, send a message to your new vina, and you’re automatically entered to win!🌟

To celebrate this amazing contest, VINAZINE had some girl talk with actress/singer Orfeh, who plays Kit in the Broadway musical. Kit, as we know, is Vivian’s best friend. Here, we talked about friendship, big dreams, her dream VINA match and more!

Q: Thanks for talking to VINAZINE, Orfeh! So what do you love most about playing Kit?
A: Well, Kit is a whole lotta fun to play so there isn’t much I don’t love about playing her, but I think that she’s got a really big, great, supportive heart. [I also love] her tell-it-like-it-is attitude and kickass wardrobe ;). I also love how supportive she is of her bestie, Vivian (played by Samantha Barks).

Q: Why is Kit and Vivian’s friendship inspiring to you?
A: I think what’s so inspiring about their friendship is that they really, really root for each other and that’s the way a true blue friendship should be—where you want the absolute best for the other person, no matter what that means for you. For Kit, that means losing her best friend (at least proximity wise) but that’s what makes it a great friendship, that no matter what, love triumphs over any sort of selfishness!

Q: Do you strive to be a friend like Kit?
A: I am and have always been that sort of a friend. At least I would like to think so!

Q: How do your real-life friendships compare to theirs?
A: Kit is extremely loyal to Vivian and always supports her no matter what. I’m like that in my friendships and I look for friends that support me in that way!

Q: What friendship qualities are most important to you?
A: Loyalty, loyalty and a wicked sense of humor!

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Q: People dream about being on the Broadway stage. How did you make it happen?
A: I was lucky enough (and worked really hard) and got a record deal straight out of high school and grew up singing, but Broadway was never on my radar. After touring with my album, my choreographer A.C Ciula invited me to audition for Footloose and the rest is history!

Q: What is your personal mantra you follow?
A: Work your butt off to make it look easy!

Q: On Hey! VINA, vinas describe themselves in five emojis. What are yours?
A: 🤣🤪🎤😎🐻

Q: What is your guilty pleasure?
A: I don’t know if it’s guilty, but I do love going to the movies.

Q: If you could swipe right on anyone on VINA , who would it be and why?
A: I would most want to swipe right on Julia Roberts, but I’ve already had the privilege to meet her. She came to see the show and was so kind and gracious and spent so much time talking with the cast – she loved it! After meeting her, the bar is very high 😉

Q: Where is your favorite place to go with your girlfriends, or your favorite things to do with them?
A: Shopping, shopping and a good meal to fuel up for more SHOPPING!!!

“Pretty Woman” performances are happening now at the David T. Nederlander Theatre. If you’re in NYC, match with a vina on Hey! VINA and plan a #vinadate to see it!

WHY IT’S HARD TO MAKE FRIENDS IN A NEW COUNTRY

I moved to Denmark with my fiancė and I’m happy we did. We met in Greenland working at Thule AB; I was a bartender and he was working on the Danish civilian side. We moved to Germany afterward, where I continued working as a bartender for the military and him doing the same work in Greenland. Making friends in Germany was easy because I made friends with my coworkers who were American, like me.

I grew up as a military brat and the one and only mission that the U.S. Military asks of the children is to make friends. There are a lot of “tips and tricks” they teach children to make friends, and schools at some of the bases offer a buddy system that assigns you a friend from the moment you land at a new base. It was important for us to have friends when we first start at a new station because we, as the children, were the focus of the home. Being able to have friends helped keep that normality of life. So growing up with all that, I was pretty confident when it came to making new friends because,

  1. I have friends, so A+ on history and experience
  2. I was taught how to make friends in a new environment
  3. Being a bartender, it’s almost natural to make friends
  4. I have been told I have a great personality (truth)
  5. I’m hilarious

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With those reasons, it was in the least of my worries to make friends when we moved to Denmark. Fast forward: boy was I wrong. Having my partner gone overseas to work for long periods of time, I eventually got lonely. I didn’t have anybody to talk to and I started to want to go out and explore this new country. And it made me realize that I, in fact, didn’t know how to make new friends without help! When I was a kid, I had another person assigned to me as a friend and I was constantly submerged into a group of people. At work, making friends with your coworkers just happens without you even realizing it, especially when working at a place like a club. Now with nothing at my disposal as a stepping stone, I found it incredibly difficult to make new friends.

I never realized that the friendship culture could be different in different cultural settings and I didn’t know how to understand it. I do have one Danish friend that I met back in Greenland who I see once every three months. She lives near Copenhagen and I live in Jutland. I value my friendship with her because for one, she is a great friend and also because she gives me all these new insights on “how to’s” in social environments. However, when I looked up  “how to make friends in Denmark,” guess what came up first? That Denmark is the world’s worst country in which to make friends! I felt 100% discouraged. The search result blabbed on into my face and said that by the time Danes are in their 30’s, they are hustling in their jobs, have their families, and kind of have their friend group. Danes are not looking for short-term friendships, they’re committed to long-term relationships with deep friendship value. Great, I am too, but where do I start? How do I meet people?

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One day, I thought that there had to be something in the app store. There has to be. And there it was, our favorite, the Hey! VINA app. I downloaded it immediately and I was so grateful that it was active in Europe! I was surprised that there were so many people who were in the exact same situation as me. People moving to a foreign country, far away from the comforts of home, to be with a partner, and with the problem of the constant shadow of loneliness. Not loneliness because of the absence of a partner, but loneliness because you miss doing certain things and the familiarity of a good friendship.

It’s still hard trying to make friends; I don’t have friends in my town. Yet. I don’t know when or if it’s ever going to happen. I still have my days where I’m completely discouraged, but do I still go outside and try and talk to some people? Yes! And I know from experience that, of course, it’s going to take time. Time to get to know my new country, time to learn the language, and time to get to know the friendship culture here in Denmark. And I am proud to announce that I am sooo willing to go for it!

Did you know that when you upgrade your VINA profile and become a VINA VIP, you can teleport to anywhere in the world and start meeting friends before you travel somewhere?! Or, when you arrive, you can join local communities like New in Town or Jetsetters and meet your girl gang that way🌟

A LETTER TO MY BFF

Hey,

I don’t really know how to start off one of these open letters, but I’ll do my best because I have a lot I want to tell you. I know that we don’t talk as much as we used to and there are many miles, an ocean and a continent that make it hard for us to grab a cup of coffee to catch up. We get angry with each other sometimes, which helps mute our conversations and desire to actually want to talk to each other. We both have matured into new adventures; yours is starting a new chapter with many exciting journeys, and I can’t wait for you to tell me about them. You’re serving in our military following your parents’ footsteps, and you’re achieving that moment where you can anchor your roots to find out where you stand. I’m in Scandinavia, expanding my family which makes me think back on all the relationships that have helped me get to where I am today.

You are, by far, the most significant friendship that has helped me shape who I am. Like I said earlier, we get into arguments where sometimes we don’t speak to each other for days, weeks, months, and even for two years that one time. We have mutual friends that shared our successes with each other, but we have come back. Apologizing and growing to become better friends which in turn, helped us become better women. We share a lot of memories together because we are that close. Yes, a few bad ones, a sprinkle of weird ones, but a ton of great ones. Looking back at our relationship, I don’t think I have actually taken the time to thank you for all the things you have done for me. You were there during my dark pits of depression, encouraging me to get out of bed when I would stay there for weeks at a time. You checked in on me for my mental health and in those moments you saved parts of me I didn’t think I wanted. When I didn’t have a place to stay, you and your family welcomed me into your home, offering me shelter. You knew of my insecurities about having a plus-size figure and encouraged me to accept myself and recognize my self-worth. The foundation that you helped lay down for me to be comfortable with myself is still here, more alive than ever.

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Sometimes, growing up bums me out. I wish we were back in high school in Okinawa where we were able to hang out all the time. Where life was so much simpler. Growing up with you and having you in my life helped plant my feet into who I wanted to become. You were there when a lot of people didn’t want to be, and some of those people were family. I wish my vocabulary was vast enough to express how thankful I am for you. I knew that some women have great friendships to the point where they feel like sisters toward one another. I once foolishly thought, “how ridiculous” —but you are a sister to me; not through blood, but through this bond we created. I’m so incredibly excited for what the future has in store for you, because I know it’s going to be fantastic. I hope we can grab that cup of coffee soon.

With all my heart,

Your friend

A friendship like this is just a tap away, vinas. Get the Hey! VINA app now to find your future girl gang!

5 SIGNS YOU’RE SPENDING TOO MUCH TIME ON NETFLIX AND NEED TO GET OUTSIDE

I find it strangely ironic that as an adult, we rush to do the things that were considered punishment when we were children. “Lights out by 8 p.m.” – DONE, “change out of your school clothes (read: work clothes) as soon as you hit the door” – EASY. But of all those things, the best is calling your own movie night. Netflix anyone?! Binge watching has become the new national pastime and the only way to stay ahead of those potential water-cooler spoilers. However, too much binge watching can rot your brain – or so my mother would say. I’m joking of course, but I have found at least five signs that it may be time to get off your couch and do something involving sun, fresh air and dare I say it, people. Drum-roll, please……

#5: You’ve memorized the trending movies section. Not only do you have your own lineup in mind, but you’ve scrolled through the options so many times, you’ve committed completely worthless information to memory.

#4: The couch has now formed a perfect bucket seat indentation around your rump. This is only achieved by pro binge watchers, ladies and gents.

#3: No calls, please. Your friends have grown so used to your Netflix nights, they know not to call between certain times because your phone is always on silent. That’s some serious “Do Not Disturb” action!

#2: Your refrigerator consists only of wine and condiments. I totally support the wine, but condiments? I thought we left that life behind us in college?

#1 – You have no idea what the weather is outside. You’ve been in your movie-watching mode, shades drawn, curled up on the couch spot for so long, the outside world has become a figment of your imagination. Is that rain? Snow? Sleet? Hurricane? No idea.

All in all, Netflix can be an amazing experience where you can go into your own world letting everything else around you fade away. But it can also be a black hole keeping you from enjoying life’s greater adventures. Go outside and enjoy it!!!! Netflix will still be there when you get back. I promise 😊

Here is the perfect first step to your grand Get-Out-of-Bed mission: Check out the Hey! VINA app and start swiping now!!

HOW TO START OVER AFTER A BREAKUP

Life after a failed relationship isn’t easy: you are bound to reinvent yourself, to re-adapt into a world that is no longer made for two. Truth is, there is no single formula on how to start over again, just as there is no single formula on how to build a routine and stick to it.

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Back to relationships: every background is different. Do you share the same group of friends or workplace with your ex? Are you close to each other families? Did you end up in “good terms?” Does it still hurt to call him “ex?” Whether you are the one who made the final decision or not, you must rebuild your life. You are on your own now (think of it as liberated!), and you have to fill the holes left by him (or her) with other people and new interests. You might be still in a dark place. You might think that there is nothing good enough to replace him, or you even might think that without him you are not as special.

But here is a fact: you are still the same person. Seriously! That funny, active, creative, extraordinary human being that you are is still right here, but only more wise, more mature, and you now know better what is best for you.

I won’t call them rules, but here are some hints that will help you focus on what is important while recovering from a breakup:

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TAKE THE CHANCE TO START ANEW. Breaking up with someone can be a wake-up call on how we are guiding our lives. Perhaps after you broke up, you realized how much you prioritized your ex. Perhaps there was nothing else that you considered meaningful and of your own. I encourage you to take a moment and think. You are free to take on any project you want. Who do you want to be? In which direction do you want your life to go?

RECAP WITH YOUR FRIENDS. Wait, are you one of those gals that stopped being a gal when in a ferocious relationship with this guy? We get it; it happens. This new relationship absorbed so much from you that you stopped seeing most of your friends. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons your relationship didn’t work either, as you put all your emotional needs on a single person. Now, you find yourself back and don’t know how to approach your old friends… Truth? Well, don’t worry, if they are truly good friends, they’ll understand. Explain your situation to them, be kind and do not demand instant complicity: things will not be the same from one day to the other, so don’t rush it and give it time. Also, don’t do it again when the new perfect guy shows up.

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MAKE NEW FRIENDS. Look at your mobile apps. Do you see this cute white logo, the one that says “Hey!”? That’s your new best friend. Trust me. Before you get into another affair of the soul your broken heart is not ready for yet (think: app with red flame logo), realize this is the time to meet new people. Be bold and take the chance to meet up with vinas. New lifestyles and activities will bring you to places and environments that are safe. Go to places that don’t have strong associations with your ex. Build new memories.

REBOUNDS HELP (SOMETIMES).  Having a rebound is fun and it can be healthy as it makes you come out of your cave; put some makeup on, and see the light of the day ( or the light of the club). It can be very exciting, but hey–it can also be disappointing. It isn’t gonna feel as exciting or fulfilling as when you were in love. Still, if you want, take the chance of experiencing something new and fresh where there are no resentments, lies or disappointments. It is just a blank page you can start writing whatever you want to write. Be careful though! Protect yourself!

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DO WHAT FEELS RIGHT FOR YOU. If sometimes you feel like being alone, watching a sad film and letting your tears come out, do it. Sometimes, you just have to let the emotions out. The sooner you cry out everything you have to cry, the sooner a smile will come up your face. If you feel like partying, do it. Perhaps you feel like being active and exercising nonstop. That’s really good, too. The important thing is that you feel complete and treat yourself. Just look that you do all of it with the right balance.

CONTACT/NO CONTACT Ah, this is complicated. It really depends on every breakup. Sometimes your ex is still your best friend and will help you go through the adaptation to your new situation. But most of the times, it is just better that you do your own thing for a while. You probably won’t want to know when your ex meets a new girl or has an amazing trip planned for the summer. If this person was toxic for you or you realize that even after breaking up you are still too dependent on him, don’t doubt on trying stronger measures: temporarily unfollow from social networks and delete him from your phone contacts. These can seem extreme but will give you the space you really need. When you’re feeling down, call your favorite vina and talk it out with her.

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PATIENCE. Breakups are messy and very emotional. It’s going to take some time to feel less vulnerable and more stable. Perhaps you think you are making massive progress (and, in truth, you are!), but then your ex shows up unexpectedly at a party and that affects you more than you wished. Maybe you break apart. It’s important to know: That is okay. It will be okay. Real change is slow. The good news? You have come a long way and the next day, you are gonna be stronger than ever.

So plan something fun with your friends. Be kind to yourself. And remember you will heal and find someone deserving of all you have to offer.

Looking for new vinas to help you through your heartache? Start swiping now.

Feature image @citroenzx.tumblr.com

GASSING UP YOUR VINAS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT

There is something electrifying about women having each other’s back. Women who stand by each other in the best of times AND the worst of times, that is an indescribable thing. When women stand together, we change the world. Statutes are amended, minds are changed, and the world just becomes a better place overall.

When I see pictures of the Suffrage Movement – women all over the world marching for a right to vote – or pictures from August 9th, 1956 when 20,000 South African women marched against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act, or the women in D.C. on January 21st, 2017 wearing pink #pussyhats, I see strength. I see power. I see what can happen when women do what women do best – love.

When I bawl my eyes out to my vinas and they say to me “you’ve got this” or “you can handle it” or “you’re doing great, just keep going!” Something in my soul shifts focus.  When you are so down that you can’t even help yourself up, there is something amazing about the strength of a sisterhood. Having the kind of girls who will either pull you up by any means necessary or go down there and get you themselves. It’s amazing when you can look at someone and genuinely say “you make my life better.”

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Photo from “Her Campus” on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/179440366389460429/

It’s SO important to surround yourself with empowering women who see your value and support your every move. It’s important to create and maintain bonds that will motivate you and be there when you can’t be there for yourself.

Here at Hey! VINA we believe that women are the glue that holds the world together. We are champions. We are warriors. We can do anything we set our minds to, and if we stand together and build each other up, we will do great things. It’s important to have that support system of ‘gassed up’ vinas around you because, as women, we can be so hard on ourselves that we forget what we can actually do. Can you imagine the change in the world if every single woman was as brave as a lion? Can you imagine how confident we would be if we all collectively decided to gas each other up? No more hatred, no more division, no more putting others down to lift yourself up. No more jealousy, or resentment, or judgment! Just imagine a world where every single woman you pass compliments you and you compliment her back. That’s a world I wanna live in!

Here’s a challenge for you, vinas. Today, as you’re going about your daily life, compliment as many women (known or unknown) as you can. Nice shoes. Lovely bag.  Gorgeous eyes. If you can get a little personal, do. You’re the strongest woman I know.  You are such a cheerful giver. You are doing so well, girl! Look at you go! You are the smartest person I know and if anybody can do this, it’s you. Think about how you feel when someone notices the work you’ve put into your life, and then go out and make them feel it too! Gas it up, vinas!

Still looking for your girl squad to gas up? No problem! Hit up the Hey! VINA app pronto and start spreading the good vibes!

THOUGHTFUL GIFTS FOR YOUR VINAS

Whether you have know your vina for months or just met, you want to get her something special. Sometimes even for the people we know the best, we may have trouble finding them the perfect gift. Here’s a cheat sheet of things to buy a few different types of vinas.

THE FITNESS VINA

This is the vina that hits the gym five days a week. She loves to catch a Zumba class at any opportunity she gets. Slinking away to her hot yoga class is on her daily to-do list. This vina can be super fun to shop for! If you know what type of activity she likes, you can get her accessories to complement her routine. Grabbing things as simple as facial wipes, deodorant, travel size shampoo and conditioner, body splash, and a spray bottle of rosewater can be a heaven-sent to this vina. Think of what can keep her feeling her freshest after that workout sesh. Trust me! She will be grateful on that day she forgets her deodorant.

Photograph by Freepik

THE FOODIE

This vina is the one that knows her way around the kitchen. She most likely loves to cook and experiment with new recipes. For this vina, I highly recommend an experience gift: A gift where you can experience a new cuisine together. It’s a great way for you two to get some more bonding time, try something new, and you already know she’ll be game for it!

THE VINA WHO ALWAYS NEEDS STUFF

This is going to probably be the most unconventional idea for a gift, but you (and your vina) are going to love it. You know when your vina tells you she needs to go to the supermarket and pick up napkins, toilet paper, an onion, cat litter, eggs, toothpaste, bagged lettuce, and bobby pins? Okay, maybe you don’t know that vina specifically, but she’s out there. She’s the one that always needs to stop at the store to pick something up. So pick it up for her. It sounds cheesy, but how cool would it be to have your vina show up at your door with a 16-pound bag of cat food? That’s pricey and heavy, and you know that she needs it. Think of it as a care package that you are sending to your most loved vina. You want to help her get the dreaded shopping out of the way by just doing it for her. You are such a peach!!

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Everyone knows that the holidays are not about the gifts, and it is more than likely your vina won’t even be expecting something from you. The truth is, it is so much more fun to give than to receive. Sometimes giving the most underrated and unthinkable gifts actually makes the perfect gift. And when all else fails – GIFT CARDS. Everyone loves a gift card!!

Yes, the BESTEST gift cannot be left unmentioned – a perfect holiday vina date! Hop over to the Hey! VINA app right now to plan a Christmas get-together!

WIN A VINA DATE TO PRETTY WOMAN ON BROADWAY

Hey Hey!

We’re all about getting you out there to have real-life fun with your friends, and that’s why we want to send you and a vina match out for a night on Broadway! 🌟🎭👠

Each week, we’ll be choosing one pair of matched vinas to score two tickets to Pretty Woman on Broadway for a Tuesday-Thursday evening show in January.

HERE’S HOW TO ENTER🌟🎭👠

🌟Open up your Hey! VINA app and swipe right on vinas you want to meet!
🌟Get a Ditto and send her a message!
🌟Keep an eye out for a message from Olivia in your conversation, to announce if you won!
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You’ll have 3 chances to win, as we’ll have winners from each week of December!

Week 1: December 9-15
Week 2: December 16-22
Week 3: December 23-29

The more vinas you match with each week, the more you increase your chances to win! We’ll be contacting the winners via your vina inbox as soon as each week is up.

So what are you waiting for? Get swiping!!

XOXO
Olivia June
VINA Founder & CEO 

Q&A WITH LORI HARDER ON THE IMPORTANCE OF A TRIBE: “I HAD THESE GOALS, I HAD THIS FAMILY, I HAD THIS HUSBAND, BUT I ALSO FELT INCREDIBLY LONELY”

To her 205K followers on Instagram, all-around #bossbabe Lori Harder is serious life goals. The “A Tribe Called Bliss” author, fitness world champion, podcast host and model (just to list a few) recently caught up with VINAZINE for some major vina talk. 🥂 Read on!

Q: Tell us about your inspiration to write “A Tribe Called Bliss.” What made you want to sit down and publish a book?
Lori: I’m from a really small town in upper Michigan [Marquette], and I was raised in a more restrictive religion, so I was homeschooled through high school. I had a very small tribe of people that I got to hang out with, and grew up with a family who also really struggled with their weight. My family was amazing and loving, but growing up I always heard that ‘life was hard and we’re always gonna struggle, and we have fat genetics.’ So when you live in that bubble, your belief systems only go as far as the people you’re surrounded with.

For me, being in such a small town and being so isolated, it was like I knew that I had these dreams; I always, always knew that I had something inside of me that just was bigger than where I was at, but I didn’t think anything was possible because I was never outside of that small bubble.

When I was a teenager, I ended up making friends with this girl who was from another congregation who was three hours away from me. Because she was in my religion, I was allowed to hang out with her, but because she was so far away, I got to spend a week at her house. So I went, and her family was SO opposite of mine. They were into health and fitness, they ate really well, they owned a family business, they took pride in making money. Their congregation was even less restrictive because it was closer to a bigger city, and within that week, it was the first time ever that I went home and I had lost weight.

Going home and actually losing weight while having fun,  I was like, ‘Wait a minute, maybe this isn’t genetics.’ This literally was a complete lifestyle change. So after that, it was like my eyes were completely open to, ‘Holy crap, what we’re surrounded by is what we believe.’ At a super young age, I became really aware of that.

There’s a transition period between our different tribes, and sometimes the hardest thing that we have to do is leave or transcend [to a new tribe]. So my book really talks about that path because for me, I had to walk that transitional path alone into my 20s and 30s until I realized, Wait a minute, I don’t have to do this alone, I can actually create tribes for where I’m going based on really getting into the rooms that already scare me, or reaching out to people who are doing what I wanna do. So that’s where the book came from.

Q: Why do you think women struggle with finding their tribe?
Lori: There’s so many reasons because a lot of times, we are struggling to find ourselves. I think that we’re still really stuck on our old beliefs and believing that in order for people to like us that we have to “people please.” I think it’s a lot of people pleasing, and that if we disappoint people, we won’t be loved, but in order to become fully us, it’s gonna take a lot of disappointing people. Because it’s gonna take a lot of showing up in a lot of different ways than we used to show up as, and sometimes rocking the boat. And I think that in our 20s and 30s, we’re so afraid of not being loved and liked because we’re not yet fully in love with ourselves since we don’t even know who that is yet. I think that’s a huge challenge for people.

Q: As you were going through all of this, when did you realize how important having a tribe is?
Lori: I knew in my late 20s, because I started getting really, really lonely no matter what I was accomplishing; I learned really quickly that accomplishment felt like the love and attention that I was seeking all through my childhood and teenage years that I did not get. So, of course, I went on this journey in my mid to late 20s and even early 30s where I was just addicted to accomplishment. It wasn’t really until my early 30s where I had achieved so many things that I wanted to achieve: I was in the fitness world, I had gotten 10 different magazine covers that I thought would equal happiness because I always wanted to be a mentor for people. I had opened a gym at that point, I had a network marketing business that was making seven figures annually…I literally reached all of these insane dreams, and I was so lonely. I was so incredibly lonely and my anxiety had come back, and I felt like, if this is it, then this is not what I pictured this dream life being about. And there were other things I wanted to accomplish, but I also felt like, man, all I was doing the whole time was pushing this boulder uphill and it wasn’t fun.

I just pictured it being so much more enjoyable than what it was. Shouldn’t reaching your dreams be more fun? So that was the point for me when I had met a couple of other women who were kind of in the same boat — experienced a lot of success in their life but were feeling like they wanted to be held more accountable, wanted to connect, and wanted this to be more fun. They also wanted to just collaborate and do it together. And that was it. After that point, after meeting them, that’s really where the book opened up and everything began.

Q: How did you meet them?
Lori: One of the women, the first one, she and I had connected online. She was also in kind of the fitness world that I was in, and she just reached out randomly. We jumped on the phone – our thinking was, ‘OK, let’s connect; let’s see what we have in common.” And the conversation turned into a conversation about how we had both read Jack Canfield’s book that talked about masterminding. So we asked each other, do you want to start a mastermind but not have it be a traditional mastermind? What if we keep the structure and the agreement, and we make up our own agreement more around sisterhood and holding each other accountable and staying in this for the long run, and what would that look like?

So we kind of played with it and we realized we needed another person. She said, ‘Oh, well I met this woman in Costa Rica. Would you be open to masterminding or doing this with another woman that you don’t know?’ And I told her, ‘Absolutely, because I really don’t know you either so let’s just go for it!’ And from that day, we have met almost now for five years every other week for one hour, and it has been — I can trace back every powerful thing in my life to either having them help me think of it, me break through something, picking up the pieces after feeling like I’m not gonna be able to get back up again — it’s literally why I wrote the book. No matter what comes my way, I have a place to process it and I have a place to get refilled back up again, and a place where I can not only be heard, but also help people with what they’re going through. And it’s not a disposable relationship to us; we are so committed to it.

Q: What is your best tribe date idea? Where do you and your tribe like to hang out
Lori: Oh man, you know what, there’s some fun stuff that I think people can do as a tribe. I think it’s always fun to go to somebody’s home or to go somewhere where you can get a quiet spot. And then to be able to go around to each person and have each person for anywhere from a minute or two minutes, to be able to share something such as the beauty that they see in that person. So that’s a really cool thing that I love to do with my tribe if we haven’t seen each other in a while, or if we wanna get reconnected. Kind of going around the group and saying, ‘Hey, the beauty I see in you, or something that I’ve seen in you lately is…” and just filling that person up, because I don’t think that we get that enough in the world or from each other. It’s a really cool thing to do around cocktails, tea, or around the fire.

Q: We’re all about tribes over here at VINA! So friendship means putting in the work, right? It’s a reason so many women struggle with making IRL connections.
Lori: Yes, because we don’t have the skills, and because we’re not willing to do the hard stuff that it takes to make an actual friend. The reason why friends stay together is because they either have something that keeps them tied together—school, family, a mutual friend in common, something like that that.If you don’t have that, it means that you have to do the work, and you have to make an actual commitment, show up, and decide to be with somebody through the hard stuff.

I think that we forget that relationships are not disposable because we live in this world where we forget that good or great relationships take tough conversations. And the second that conflict comes up, we don’t know how to handle it, so we just get rid of it. So we’re avoiding everything because we don’t wanna do the hard stuff. And it’s the only place from which the good stuff comes. It’s so much like dating; it’s crazy because more people are inspired to date because we want a partner, so we’re willing to fight with this person over and over, whereas with a friend, we’re like, ‘Nope, see ya!’

Q: So true. What was your hardest friendship struggle that you had to go through?

Lori: I will say that a lot of my old habits are fear of abandonment, so I have a tendency to want to sabotage the relationship before I think it’s going to sabotage me, or before I think something’s going to happen. So in friendships, that’s something that I noticed I’d do — because when I was younger I would either get left out a lot, or maybe not invited into the groups that I wanted to be in — so if I start feeling like I’m not valuable or adding value, I’ll tend to notice.

Even in my mastermind, I’ll notice that I’ll start feeling kind of weird, or like I’m not as valuable, or I’ll stop texting as much and then when I notice that, I’ll bring it up. That’s a really powerful thing that I’ve learned, is that I bring up my old issues and say that I’m feeling them so that I can actually process them, and they can talk to me about them. I’ll be in the group and be like, ‘Hey guys, I’ve actually been feeling like maybe I’m not adding as much value recently like, is there a way I can add value, or can we just chat about this?’ And they’re like, ‘Oh my God are you kidding, I would never think that!” And it’s just the importance of talking about how you’re feeling and processing it. I think as women, that’s the most important thing.

Q: It seems like our schedules are so demanding, it’s a miracle if you even eat dinner these days. How and why should women make time for friends?
Lori: When you are creating an intentional relationship, you will get more value out of the relationship than you will feel like it’s depleting you or making you feel overwhelmed. Because when we’re going into something and we’re saying we’re too busy for a relationship, it’s because we have an idea of what the relationship is gonna look like and how it’s gonna feel. So, if I told a woman, ‘OK well, this relationship is only gonna be for an hour every other week, or once a month, but it’s gonna add so much value to you and it’s gonna feel like you have someone in your court. Are you open to that?’ A majority of women would say yes. My book was made to create really fast, deep connections in a small amount of time by learning how to communicate more effectively, and to give better questions so that you’re getting better answers quicker.

Because that’s exactly how I felt. I was like, ‘I don’t have time for friends.’ I had these goals, I had this family, I had this husband … but I also felt incredibly lonely. So, it’s learning how to create intentional relationships while actually saying your expectations, and what you’re willing to commit to, and what you’re not. And letting it be OK if it’s not a lot. It’s really learning that it’s not your work to please other people, or if you disappoint people. It’s giving yourself permission to disappoint people and create really intentional relationships.

Q: The Hey! VINA app is a great place for women to make friends. Where else do you recommend?
Lori: I always say go for the low-hanging fruit in your life. Kind of going on the path of least resistance first by saying, ‘Where do you want the most support in your life, and what feels natural for you?’ So for me, it’s fitness. I want the most support around a fitness community, and I also feel that’s the most natural spot for me. So I’m gonna go to a Soul Cycle…and I’m gonna go enough. You can’t just go and say, ‘Hi! This is my first class, let’s be friends.’ That’s being weird — don’t do that. You have to go enough to actually be familiar with people, or say, ‘Hey, would you ever wanna grab coffee for 20 minutes, and honestly, this doesn’t have to happen all the time, we could do this once a month or whatever this looks like.’ People need to know the expectation upfront.

Q: What do you think is the #1 most important message that you want readers to take away from your book?
Lori: Oh man, there are so many good ones! But honestly, in making friendships and reaching your highest potential, I think that you just have to not take anything personally and be so willing to reach out constantly. I think that the more that you understand that everyone, especially in times like right now, either has an opinion or can take something personally, and it’s never about you. The more that you can just say, ‘I still love me and I’m gonna keep going,’ that’s the most powerful thing you can do. It’s just knowing who you are.Screen Shot 2018-12-07 at 10.25.04 PM

Q: Definitely. Over at VINA, we’re loving Rachel Hollis! When we interviewed her for VINAZINE, she gave some great advice about ignoring the haters and finding your people. You must love her too because she was on your podcast recently! Are you two new vinas?
Lori: She’s amazing! I actually just had dinner with her two weeks ago when we were on a book tour. Yeah, she’s really incredible. I wouldn’t say that I have a super awesome relationship with her yet, but I definitely am feeling blessed to have connected.

Q: We know your annual conference, The Bliss Project is coming up in March! What do you love most about the weekend?
Lori: Bliss Project is one of the most fun things for me because it’s literally my book in action. I wanted to create a room where we’re not just talking about what we want, but we’re going, ‘OK here’s how we do it, now let’s try it.” So I facilitate exercises where we’re like, ‘Go try this. What worked? What didn’t work? Now let’s write about it. OK, now let’s visualize it.’ That’s why I’m obsessed with it because I feel like there’s so much action that actually happens from it and in it.

Q: We ask all our vinas this question: What does your ideal Sunday look like?
Lori: My ideal Sunday would definitely start outside, so I’d either be walking my dog with my husband or doing a run. And then if I could surf, that would be awesome if I’m gonna do something extra. I would love to go to lunch with friends, just a group of close friends. Honestly anything outside — if I could play volleyball or just lounge around and sit on the beach, that would be a really epic day.

Thanks, Lori! Vinas, stayed tuned from more from this awesome vina. Start connecting with your tribe now by joining communities and swiping right on Hey! VINA!

THE SECRET WAY TO IMPROVE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

There’s a significant body of research that suggests multitasking is bad for productivity. But a new study adds nuance to those findings. Turns out, the perception of a task as a multitask (rather than a single task) can enhance our performance, particularly on tasks we find mundane.

Lead study author Shalena Srna, Ph.D., an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, tells Thrive Global that her interest in the study arose from the contrast between how people define multitasking (as performing multiple tasks at the same time) and how they actually engage in it.

“Previous research tells us that humans cannot actually attend to multiple tasks concurrently, so when we think we are multitasking, we are actually switching rapidly back and forth between tasks and do not attend to more than a single task at a time,” Srna says. She and her team focused their research on how perceiving an activity as either multitasking or single tasking impacts performance, she explains.

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The results are striking. “When a given activity is perceived as a multitasking activity, people perform much better. They persist longer and also perform more efficiently and accurately,” Srna says. While adding extra tasks to your load at any given moment (trying to literally multitask) hurts performance — by causing you to lose time and mental energy by shifting between tasks or topics — thinking about a single task as a multitask improves performance, her research found, particularly when the task you’re mentally reframing is a boring one.

For instance, attending a mundane meeting can feel like a single task, but recognizing that the activity has more than one component (listening, giving feedback, taking notes to use later) can trigger perceptions of multitasking, and therefore improve your engagement, efficiency, and comprehension, Srna explains.

The researchers hypothesize that this effect has to do with increased engagement: When you believe a task is a more complex, multi-part task, your brain brings more energy and power to the table.

— Originally published on November 16, 2018 on THRIVE Global. 

HOW TO MEET NEW FRIENDS AND GET MORE SWIPES ON HEY! VINA

We can all pretty much agree that the Hey! VINA app is AWESOME, right?! The whole concept of meeting new friends in your area with similar interests, hobbies, family lives, etc. what’s better than that?! Just having someone to grab a glass of wine with is honestly everything.

As all strong women do, we crave a sense of community and quality relationships. But even with all the technology out there designed to help us “connect,” it’s still easier than ever to feel lonelier than ever. I mean, come on. Making new friends is hard enough without having to make the first move. Nobody wants to be the one to send the “Hey! Let’s be besties!” text.

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Since I’ve joined the VINA community, I’ve found myself more open to finding those new vina connections through all of the groups and personality quizzes the platform offers. It makes it so much easier and comfortable to get out there and find your vina gang! Check out these 5 tricks to get more swipes and find that gang even faster!

CHOOSING A PROFILE PICTURE THAT SHOWCASES YOUR PERSONALITY

I know this sounds insanely cheesy, and maybe a bit obvious, but it makes a big difference! Your profile picture is the first thing potential besties will see, so you want to make sure it’s unapologetically you. And of course, a good smile never hurts. It brightens up your face, radiates positivity, and everyone loves a friendly face! I would also recommend a pic of you doing something you love; hiking, sipping on coffee, or just chilling in your living room with a glass of wine. Other vinas love seeing someone they can relate to, and are more likely to swipe right on someone they feel is a fellow soul sista!

FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE COMPLETELY

Yes, the whole thing! Besides the basics like your name and birthday, you have the option to expand the radius of vinas that can see your profile, and that you can connect with. Giving yourself and extra 25 miles will add a whole new group of vinas to your possibility pool! Beyond that, choose your age range, and describe yourself in 5 emojis, who doesn’t love that?! The more you fill out your profile, the more vinas you’ll attract, which equals the best friend jackpot!

MAKE YOUR “ABOUT ME” DESCRIPTION POP

Everyone is using this app to meet friends, so you can leave that part out. Tell us about your love of dancing to Ariana Grande in your bath robe, how you collect Golden Girls memorabilia, or how you whip up big Sunday dinners with the whole fam every weekend. Those are the things that make you unique and help your profile stand out, so be as specific as possible. You are an original, tell the world about what makes you special!

JOIN MULTIPLE COMMUNITIES

This is a space where you can let people know what you like to do, who you are interested in hanging out with, what activities you’re most likely to be found doing, or what new groups you wanna explore. This allows other vinas to relate to you on multiple levels, and get to know a little more about your interests that weren’t included in your “about me” rant.

BECOME A VINA VIP

This option does cost money, but so does that Starbucks pumpkin spice latte you just bought, and having unlimited access to a community of women to make connections with and relate to is worth way more. VINA VIP allows you to get instant matches from your “hey list” so that you can get dittos faster. You can undo your skips in case you want a second look, or your interests and hobbies change, and you have the ability to use the teleport option to change your location to anywhere in the world and meet vinas outside of your local area too! Plus, you get all kinds of new badass features. It’s totally worth the buy!

What are you waiting for?! Download the Hey! VINA app now and start swiping!✌️

Q&A WITH TEEN VOGUE EDITOR IN CHIEF LINDSAY PEOPLES WAGNER: “WHEN YOU ARE AT A TOP LEVEL JOB, IT CAN BE HARD TO MAKE FRIENDS”

Imagine starting as an intern at one of your favorite magazines, and then years later, returning as editor in chief? Lindsay Peoples Wagner knows exactly how that feels like. In October, she was named the editor in chief of Teen Vogue, solidifying a lifelong dream come true. Peoples Wagner (who is busy prepping the final details for Teen Vogue Summit, which takes place Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in LA!), talked to VINAZINE about her career tips, why it can feel lonely on top, her tribe and more. Check it out!

Q: Thanks so much for talking to VINAZINE, Lindsay. What’s it like to be named editor in chief of one of your favorite magazines, and a magazine where you started as an intern?
A: Very surreal! I think it’s been a long journey for me in figuring out what exactly I want to do in the fashion industry that will bring about change and now that I’m finally in a position to uplift a lot of voices that may not have been part of the conversation, I’m just excited to get to work!

Q: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing when you were intern, what would it be?
A: Just to keep my head down and work. I think in fashion it can be almost too easy to get distracted by the haze of glitz and glamour, and I always felt a bit out of place in those kinds of spaces but it took me a long time to be okay with that.

Q: What in your career prepared you for this moment?
A: The fact that I’ve always been hungry for the work instead of being thirsty for the fading elements of fashion.

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Photo courtesy of Lindsay Peoples Wagner’s Instagram

Q: Why is Teen Vogue Summit important to you and the brand?
A: The Summit is really important to me because as a former Teen Vogue intern and assistant, it’s a dream come true to meet our readers and people who have loved this brand as much as I have. I’m from the midwest, so I’m looking forward to meeting people from all over the world and expanding our reach.

Q: Tell us about your tribe. Who are the people you lean on when times get tough?
A: Since I’m not from here, I’ve had to be selective about who is in my tribe because they’re essentially my family. So for me, it’s honestly people that have been in my life for a long time that I know that I can trust.

Q: Who is your bestest friend and what impact has she had on your life?
A: Her name is Jessie and we actually interned at Teen Vogue together! I would without a doubt say she is one of the main driving forces in me staying sane and making me laugh everyday.

Q: Was there ever a time in your life when you felt lonely? Tell us about it.
A: I think being in this kind of position can oddly be lonely! When you are at an executive top level job, it can be hard to make friends or find connections with people because it does tend to seem like everyone wants something from you.

Q: If you could swipe right on any women on Hey! VINA, who would it be and why?
A: If you get Michelle Obama on Hey! VINA, I will swipe right with all my might!

Q: If you had a VINA profile, you’re asked to describe yourself in 5 emojis. Which ones would you choose?
A: 👊🏿❤️🌟🙏🏾 🙄

Q: What is the best career advice that you’ve ever been told?
A: My mother once told me to be what I needed when I was younger, and here I am.

Thanks for talking to VINAZINE, Lindsay!

Looking to find some inspiring women around you to lift you up? Download Hey! VINA and start swiping!

THE POWER OF THE PACK

“Me” — not “we” — has been the traditional mindset for women at work. Women in general rate high on nurturing, compassion, and empathy. These qualities are also essential for the best leaders today. But for too long, a scarcity of women in leadership positions has conditioned women to believe that we must be competitive with one another in order to succeed.

The truth is that most women are natural collaborators, a quality that we tend to embrace at a young age. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development pooled data from 52 countries to examine how 15-year-old girls and boys perform when asked to problem-solve as a team. Get this: groups of girls didn’t just outperform in general. They outperformed in every single country surveyed.

OUR INHERENT STRENGTHS ARE WHAT MAKE US STRONG LEADERS

In a Pew Research Center study released earlier this year, women out-scored men in all but one of the study’s key research qualities. They are seen as more compassionate and empathetic; they were able to find compromises more effectively than men; they maintain a tone of civility and respect. It’s time to own our strengths, because it’s these qualities that make us great in the workplace.  

Every workplace is unique; there is no “one size fits all” recipe for success. But there is a basic roadmap that applies to every industry: that when we stand out, stand up, and stand together, we all succeed. Recognize your own strengths, and surround yourself with others who can be strong where you are not. Collaboration is at its best — and most effective — when everyone taps into their unique strengths to orient toward a shared goal: collective success.

And women are uniquely suited to build collaborative relationships, both in their personal and professional lives.

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Collaboration in the workplace isn’t just a good idea; it’s good for the bottom line. Consider the 2017 joint study between The Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and Rob Cross, Professor of Global Business at Babson College, which examined more than 1,000 companies to determine what makes them successful. Their core finding? That high-performing companies were 5.5 times more likely to incentivize collaboration than their low-performing counterparts.

Or what about that 2017 Deloitte study, which found that “the creation of social cohesion is at the core of success… Employees that collaborate the most are happier and are more cohesive in teams than other workers.” People are more apt to be engaged in the success of their organization when they build collaborative relationships with their coworkers.

THERE’S POWER IN THE PACK

As women, we tend to band together. Take the “Tend and Befriend” study, which found that women respond to stress by seeking out and nurturing others, while men adopt the “fight or flight” mentality. For centuries, it’s been a survival tactic. But now, it’s a success tactic. When we invest in the success of one another, we have the potential to succeed together. The Shine Theory, used by female athletes in the Olympics, is the belief that when one woman helps another woman rise, we all shine. Women account for more than 48 percent of the global workforce; our time to shine bright is now. And collaboration over competition will help us advance equality a whole lot faster. A woman alone has power; together we have impact.

Shelley Zalis is the CEO of The Female Quotient. Start finding your pack on Hey! VINA today!

HOW I DECIDED WHAT COMMUNITIES TO JOIN ON VINA

As an online community manager for an engineering company and for my own personal community, Vivi e impara, I strongly believe in the power of community to connect people and share knowledge. At VINA, this is something that can be done very well!

According to the State of Community Management 2018 Report, communities are impacting the way we live and the work around us. The research is compelling:

  1. Communities are change agents: Community programs impact multiple functions, stakeholders, and departments in organizations. They have immense potential to be agents of change by efficiently dispersing knowledge and information across organizations and their markets.
  2. Communities create transformational value: Community programs show an average ROI that exceeds 2,000%. They enable behavior changes that directly impact profitability and revenue generation, while also having an overwhelmingly positive impact on brand and cultural sentiment.
  3. Community teams are underfunded: Community professionals are burnt out due to increasing success and workloads without the accompanying increase in resources and support. This is limiting impact.

As a VINA Ambassador & VINA Society Writer, and an active member of The Community Roundtable network, I’ve used VINA to connect with women with similar interests as mine. I’m active in many communities, including bloggers, dog owners, foodies, and yoga, to name a few. While chatting with new vinas on the app, I’m able to find something in common with them. And if not, then I’ve met someone different from me that I can learn from.

Just this past week I connected with a fellow yogi. In the introduction on the app it says, “Share your favorite spot to shavasana! Then how about trying each other’s favorite yoga studios together?” This quick introduction not only helps new vinas find a cool new yoga studio, but also suggests an activity to bring women closer together based on mutual interests and understanding. Now, what’s better than that?

I’m grateful that VINA is supporting the diverse interests and skill sets that we as women represent. VINA challenges and recognizes us and celebrates what we have in common and what makes us different.

Download the Hey! VINA app today and find out for yourself! Join a few communities and realize just how beautiful it is to bring us all a little closer together. 

BECOMING AN EARLY BIRD

Whether you work the morning shift or like watching the sun rise, everyone can benefit from waking up at 6am. These are just the benefits that I personally have noticed, and I’m sure you’ll notice them once you stop hitting the snooze button!

Eat Breakfast

Getting up earlier will push you to eat breakfast first, which is, as many grandmas would say, the most important meal of the day! Breakfast it vital to our daily food intake, and it will stop you from feeling hungry and eating snacks throughout the day. This will also go hand and hand with the next benefit.

Boosted Metabolism

There’s no doubt that waking up early gets your gears moving a lot sooner in the day.  This means that your metabolism will be kickstarted. The morning time is when your metabolism is at it’s peak and it starts weakening later on in the day, so wake up to receive this natural benefit!

Body Healing

Waking up earlier for a slow start also means that you won’t be jumping right out of bed with an aching body. I personally always had lower back pain before letting my body gently wake up with the rest of the world. Adding yoga or pilates to your morning routine also stretches your body so you won’t pull anything or have stiff muscles all day.

Plan the Day

Since you have this extra time, you can plan your day, or go over your plans from the night before. If you don’t do much planning, you can check and make sure you don’t have any appointments set up. *I began using an iOS app named “One List” (Not sure about the availability on Android), and it has helped me a ton during my previous semester of college. To rid of ads and unlock all the themes, it’s $4.99, but very worth it in my opinion! If you want to go paperless, this app is very simplistic and helpful in sorting tasks and their level of difficulty.

More Productive

If you spend time planning your day, you’re more than likely going to follow it which makes you more productive. Even if this doesn’t apply, you’re going to do something when you wake up, no matter how big or small the task may be!

Improves Sleep

Since you will be waking up at 6am, your body will start getting tired earlier. You may find that you become tired around 8pm rather than 12am, and that’s a great thing! It’s easier to wake up early if you go to sleep earlier, which makes you feel like you had the best sleep. Many of us only feel fully rested when we go to bed and sleep in late. However, you can get the same feeling and more!

Energized

The energy in your body will be at an all time high when you give yourself a little time! Forget spending $3 a day on energy drinks and pulling all nighters. They leave you tired, unhealthy, and drains energy faster than you can drink it. If you want to save money and gain time, this is for you!

Easy 8am Classes/Morning Shift

This only applies for those who are in college or work an early morning shift, but nonetheless helpful. If you wake up at 6am, you have two free hours to do what you like. Whether you kick back and enjoy a Netflix show or spend the few hours studying for a test for your 8am course, it makes these early tasks simple.

Better Mental Health

This is in no way inferring that all mental health issues will be eradicated. This just improves mental health and dealing with it. Better sleep and decreased stress are linked to a healthier mind. When you’re more productive and energized you feel great and that everyday is purposeful.

*not sponsored

Start swiping on Hey! VINA today to find a best girlfriend that will keep you accountable on your new goals!

BESTIE TATTOOS WE’RE OBSESSED WITH

Ready to take your VINA-ship to the next level? Here are some of the very best, matching bestie tattoos. Which one will you choose?

A pinky promise and co-ordinates of where you first met your vina?

Perhaps brunch is your favourite kind of vina date?

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Now I just have a dope avocado tattoo.

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“One arrow alone can be easily broken but many arrows are indestructible…” sounds like a Hey! VINA friendship to me!

Are you the peanut butter or the jelly in your vina-ship?

Friends since school? These paper planes sure remind us of class.

Because finding a vina you click with is as valuable as finding a diamond.

Otterley adorable!

We love our best vina to the moon and back!

Matching converse? Check. Matching palm trees? Check!

Have you and your best vina gotten matching tattoos? Are you considering getting one? We would love to see them!

Check out Hey! VINA to start swiping on a future tattoo twin!

HOW TO BECOME A YOUTUBE STAR

Nowadays, we all use YouTube for one reason or another, whether it be to binge watch videos or find that tutorial on whatever it was we don’t know how to do. Either way, this site has become more than just an online video library. Now it’s a way for people to not only make their name known, but make money while doing so. Here’s what you need to know in order to start and sustain your very own successful YouTube channel.

1. WHAT’S THE GOAL OF YOUR VIDEOS/CHANNEL?

Before even thinking of picking up a camera and attempting to figure out how it works, you have to decide what exactly your content is going to be about. Do you want to help or inspire other vinas? Are you vlogging about your life? Or do you have a unique talent or skill that you would like to share with the world? In any case, if you know what your content will be about then you are more likely to capture and hold the attention of the audience you are trying to hit.

2. MAKE VIDEOS

When posting to and starting a channel it is obvious that you would need to post videos, but how often is key. In the beginning of your YouTube career you will have to be extra regular on when you post and how much you post. Beginner YouTubers have to post more videos and make sure they are posting everyday, or every week, or every month, to insure that their new content gets seen by viewers. As you gain more popularity you wont have to post as often, because by then you will have a regular group of followers, but until then post post post!

3. KEEP UP WITH YOUR GROWING AUDIENCE

It is VERY important that, not only in the beginning, but throughout your YouTube Career you are communicating and interacting with your followers. When they comment, take the opportunity to start a conversation. When they want more of something, be aware of it, and make more of what they like. Probably most important though, is to watch the behavior of your fans. Are they watching videos to the end? Are they liking or disliking videos? Which videos get the most views? Keeping up with the behavior of your viewers is crucial so that you are aware of what works and what doesn’t.

Following these tips can start you down the right path. As long as you’re willing to put in the work, it’ll pay off.

It’s always easier to do new things when you have a team to back you up, so find your vina team on Hey! VINA today!

5 MANTRAS TO SAY TO YOURSELF DAILY

WHAT IS A MANTRA?

It is a word, sound or sentence that is said over and over again to help with concentration or to provide positive affirmation.

HOW CAN A MANTRA HELP

It can help produce positive thoughts, feelings, and energies in your mind and body and help you de-stress.

DEVELOPING YOUR MANTRA

  • You want to find a quiet space with minimal distractions for yourself. Add candles, incense, or essential oils.
  • What is your intention? Peace, health, success, or a spiritual connection?
  • Sit in a comfortable position. Keep your back straight and upright.
  • Clear your mind, close your eyes, and breathe through your nose and out of your mouth.
  • Choose your mantra:
  1. I feel beautiful, I am beautiful
  2. I am free to be myself
  3. I am healthy and strong
  4. I have the power to create change
  5. I accept myself for who I am

Looking for friends to develop your mantra with? Start swiping on Hey! VINA today!

CAREER LESSONS FROM THE BOLD TYPE

The Bold Type is a Freeform TV show that follows three millennial women that work at a Cosmopolitan-type magazine called Scarlet. While the show has a few inaccuracies as to what it would be like working at a magazine of that size, the show has a number of moments that could be considered career lessons for the aspiring professional woman.

The Bold Type follows three best friends: Sutton, Jane, and Kat. The three girls couldn’t be more different in personalities and job titles. Sutton starts off as an assistant, Jane is a writer, and Kat is the Social Media Director. Each of the girls face unique career challenges when it comes to their positions and where they fit in with the rest of the staff. Here are a few things we could learn from Kat, Jane and Sutton:

**If you haven’t watched the show before, you might want to stop here because there are spoilers ahead** 

YOU ARE NEVER TOO YOUNG TO ADVANCE IN YOUR CAREER

Kat is an excellent example to young women everywhere because she quickly advances to become Scarlet’s youngest director ever. It doesn’t matter that Kat was young, she excelled at her job and was recognized for it. Take a chance, you aren’t too young to make an impression. Your age shouldn’t matter.

Tbt GIF by The Bold Type - Find & Share on GIPHY
Via GIPHY

IF YOU’RE UNHAPPY WHERE YOU ARE, MOVE ON

Sutton’s transformation in The Bold Type is something to aspire to. She starts out as a green-juice fetching assistant but has a deep passion for fashion. She recognized that she was unhappy in her current position and took a major leap to put herself out there and she ended up making the move to the fashion department. It didn’t happen overnight, but she knew what she wanted and she went for it… and it paid off! Now she’s living her best life and killing it as a fashion assistant.

Tbt GIF by The Bold Type - Find & Share on GIPHY
via GIPHY

SOMETIMES FAILURE IS THE BEST THING FOR YOU

In season two, Jane takes a leap of her own and leaves her comfortable niche at Scarlet to write for a cutting-edge online news source. It ends up being a disaster and Scarlet won’t take her back. Instead of letting this failure consume her, she becomes a badass freelance writer and makes a name for herself on her own. If you can, try to turn the bad into the good. If you let it, failure can often lead you to where you’re supposed to be.

Season 2 GIF by The Bold Type - Find & Share on GIPHY
Via GIPHY

LOOK TO YOUR SUPERIORS FOR GUIDANCE

The trio of best friends has an oddly close relationship with the editor-in-chief, Jacqueline. Unlike Miranda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada, Jacqueline is approachable and kind to her staff members. The girls make a point to lean on Jacqueline and look to her for guidance when they need it. It almost never hurts to ask a superior for advice. It can help you advance your career and you can end up building a relationship with them.

via GIPHY

WHY THE BOLD TYPE IS IMPORTANT

Even though television shows like The Bold Type and Younger are cute and fun, they are extremely important for our generation. These shows highlight badass women who are focused on their careers while balancing a social and dating life. No longer are female characters required to chase boys and make poor decisions while putting their aspirations on the back burner.

Times are changing.

FIND YOUR GIRL SQUAD ON VINA

Want to find your own Jane, Sutton and Kat? Swipe on Hey! VINA and make some new connections today. Your girl-squad is waiting for you!

https://giphy.com/embed/3ohs4wL0EtChmUNJfO

via GIPHY

VIVA LA VEGAN!

WHAT IS VEGANISM?

Vegan is defined as abstaining from all animal products in your daily diet. In other words, any bi-product of an animal such as milk, cheese or chicken. So I’m sorry vinas, no more half & half in your iced coffees or butter filled croissants from the local bakery.

BACKGROUND

Countless studies and documentaries have been produced to convey to the public why intaking certain foods and drinks on an everyday basis is unhealthy. For example, “What the Health” is a documentary on Netflix that addresses how the meat industry lies about how and where animals are raised. Not to mention either how the bi-product of the animal is altered. Thinking about how poorly chickens are raised is concerning and quite disturbing. Not all baby chicks are running freely in grass and consuming natural nourishment, but instead trapped in tight cages. Considering even a small amount of knowledge regarding the food industry and major food corporations can open eyes and mouths to what is really nourishing for our bodies.

WHY GO VEGAN?

Going vegan and reducing the amount of animal product intake can help with heart problems, tiredness, and overall health. Dairy is especially fattening and can cause stomach issues to some. For example, lactose intolerance is no longer uncommon and rather more apparent than ever. In addition, getting the proper nutrition you need from protein and healthy fats can come from many alternatives to meat and dairy. Below are some suggestions.

WHAT TO EAT

Here’s a very short list of items you can still enjoy while being vegan! Always remember to check labels and keep your eyes peeled for yummy treats in the grocery store, at local markets, or in the latest newsletter from your favorite place to shop!

FOOD

Tofu, tempeh, pasta, rice, beans, lettuce, chips, potatoes, fruit, veggies, nuts, dark chocolate, vegan cake and cookies

DRINKS

Milk (almond, coconut, nut, cashew, rice, soy), coffee (hallelujah!), juice, kombucha

OVERVIEW

Contrary to popular belief, going vegan is very affordable and easy. Fruits and vegetables are a comfortable price while tofu and tempeh are significantly cheaper than red steak or chicken drumsticks. There are always ways to spice things up and switch tastes around by adding, for example, different sauces to your tofu. Don’t get discouraged about running out of recipes or ideas. With plenty of resources online and convenient videos, making vegan dishes can be very fun, while also tasting yummy without maxing out your credit card.

Educate yourself, take time to see what foods are out there, and get to shopping! Mix up your life with adding a splash of coconut milk to your coffee while saving one precious cow at a time. Now that’s what I call a-moo-zing!

xo,

Mia Costa

To find your fellow vegan vinas, join the Vegetarian and Vegan Community on Hey! VINA. Swap recipes and plan some vegan dinner nights in or out with the girlies today!

HAPPY NATIONAL WOMEN’S HEALTH WEEK!

woman getting her pulse checked

The United States Women’s National Health Week is from May 12th through the 18th this year! Here are a few ways to keep your health in check so that you can continue being the most badass version of yourself:

GET YOUR WELL WOMAN CHECKUP ASAP!

If you haven’t already gone in for your annual checkup, now’s the time to get it scheduled! I don’t know about you, but I’m a borderline hypochondriac so I’ll do anything that’ll reassure me that I’m not nine-months pregnant or that I have a rare, incurable disease. A thorough well-woman checkup will include preventative screenings such as breast examinations and pap smears.

START MOVIN’ AND GROOVIN’

Woman's silhouette running against the sunrise

According to World Health Organization, one in four adults live a sedentary lifestyle. This leaves you susceptible to common diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. The good news is that it’s never too late to adopt a more active lifestyle.

Just recently I started seeing a personal trainer and I’ve never felt so strong in my life. Now, I’m not saying you suddenly have to start doing SoulCycle every week or become a yoga guru, but even just incorporating brisk 15-minute walks into your routine could make all the difference.

ADOPT A HEALTHIER DIET

Did you know your gut can tell you more about your current health state than any other part of your body? Think about it; how often do you deal with bloat or constipation or fatigue? It can even affect your sleep and weight! Bad gut health is a result of consistent bad eating habits (along with a few other factors such as stress levels and hydration). That means the best way to get your gut in check is to have a well-balanced diet. Try to cut back on foods with a high sugar or trans fat content and replace them with more fibrous foods. Maybe even get tested for subtle food allergies you might have.

Be warned though. Your doctor might tell you that you’re allergic to garlic and you’ll question everything you know about yourself – not that I’m projecting or anything.

Long story short vinas, a better balanced diet = happy gut = happy you.

KEEP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN CHECK

A girl reading poetry with a cup of tea

According to Women’s Health, one in five women in the United States (I’m sure it’s similar in other parts of the world) have experienced a mental health condition. Thankfully it’s becoming more acceptable to be open and honest about mental health issues in the workplace, in schools, and even between loved ones.

I personally struggle with depression and anxiety. It’s been a long road getting to a place where I can manage it better, but I still have a long way to go.

So here’s your reminder to be kind to and patient with yourselves vinas. Treat yourself to some “me days” accompanied with some wine (or coffee or tea) and a good book (or your favorite T.V. show). Of course these should not be in placement of treatments provided by a licensed therapist if you choose to seek one.

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

Here’s my last one for you vinas, and it’s an important one. Be sure to practice safe behaviors such as quitting smoking (or not starting), not texting while driving (I ain’t a saint, I struggle with this one too), wearing your seat belts, and using protection.

I want to end on a high note and remind all of you vinas that the first step to loving yourself is taking care of yourself, so please keep these tips in mind year-round.

Even better download the Hey! VINA app today and share these tips with some new life-long friends.

WHY MY MOM IS MY BEST VINA

The shops are now filled with beautiful floral arrangements, unique mug designs are on the shelves and pamper packages are a dime a dozen. Yep, it’s time for Mother’s Day!

Yes, many people say, ‘you shouldn’t just tell your mom how much you love her once a year,’ (kind of like the Valentine’s Day critics), and I do agree to some extent. However, now everything is mom-themed and for a change it’s not hard to find a key ring that says ‘World’s Best Mom’. That’s what I aim to show my mom this year, that not only is she my world’s BEST MOM, but she’s also my best vina. What follow are 5 reasons why my mom is my best vina, so here they are:

DISTANCE, WHO CARES? NOTHING CHANGES

Candice and her mom
Me and my mom 🙂

In a world today where young adults aim to travel and experience the world, we often find ourselves away from home for long periods of time. In my case, I moved around the country, but not once would my mom miss a thing. When we talk, she doesn’t miss a single beat. It was as if she’d been staying next door to me the entire time, and I just sat in her lounge and unwound after the crazy days at the office.

SHE’S SEEN IT ALL

Being with my mom, I get to be my most natural self. No being the ‘perfect wife’ or the ‘star employee.’ When I’m with her I get to be my introverted self, with dreams of a simpler life. I can share my true feelings, emotions and thoughts with her and I can tell her all my secrets, knowing it won’t be circling through a few other ears a week later. Plus she’s seen it all. Every phase I have ever gone through, every colour I’ve died my hair and every broken memory. (OMG… I’m trying not to cry here!)

SHE UNDERSTANDS

Another reason my mom is my best vina is the judgement-free zone that she and I have with each other. Like I mentioned before, she knows the deepest secrets I have. She listens to me when I need to rant or cry over an argument with my husband, and she never passes judgement on me or anyone. (Except she obviously takes my side deep down…)

MOM’S ADVICE IS PROBABLY THE BEST ADVICE

Candice, her mom, and her brother
Christmas gang

When we’re young, we don’t always want to admit that mom knows best, but when we get older we learn that it is indeed so. When we do ask mom for advice, she is also most likely to give you the best outsider perceptive as she probably understands your background, history and why it is that you’re having a dilemma in the first place.

MOM IS MY NUMBER ONE FAN

 I could decide tomorrow that I was packing up my life as we know it and am going to travel the world as a backpacker or go live off the grid in a small deserted town, and one thing will always be for sure is that she will support me in whatever I decide to put my mind to. She would obviously question everything, but it is only out of love and to make sure I am doing it with the right mind and for the right reasons.

No relationship is perfect, but if it were, just imagine how boring life would be…

HOW TO BE THE BEST FREAKING BRIDESMAID EVER

Stand in line ladies!! The bride-to-be just made her decision about who is going to stand next to her on her big day, and you’re gonna be in it!

How exciting! Congratulations to the happy couple. But your job is a lot tougher than you think.  Yes, yes, the bride and groom have flowers and chapels and food to sort out, but your job is firstly,  to make sure your bride has the best bachelorette party ever, and secondly, to make sure that her wedding day goes on without a hitch.

The first thing you need to understand is that while you do get to help her plan, it is NOT your day. Know when to back off. Know your place. Especially if you’re not the maid of honor.

Run ideas past, her but don’t overwhelm her with unnecessary details. Give her options to choose from but don’t make it impossible.

It’s easy to get stressed out about the details, but remember, she’s probably stressed with this and other things already.  Take it easy.  Bring her a glass of wine at every opportunity you get.

If there are a few of you, make sure that you’re all on the same page with everything. Communication is key. Everyone needs to know everything at all times. Try to keep bitchiness to the bare minimum. We all know that sometimes some people can push you to your limits. Take it from us, it’s not worth it. Just take a deep breath, smile and keep your cool. If things become a little overwhelming, take a deep breath (do you see where I’m going with this?), smile and brave-face through it.

The best part of being a bridesmaid is not the big day, it’s the bachelorette party. And planning the perfect day for her is going to be epic.

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  1. Know the bride well enough to know what her favourite things were as a child. Maybe you might not know but one of the other ladies might. If that doesn’t work, contact a family member.
  2. You already know what her favourite things are now.
  3. Mix that up with some Magic Mike action, and you’re set to go.
  4. Stay in contact with all the other people in the bridal party. It’s good to be on top of things.
  5. Help the bride with whatever she needs for the night. Be it lip gloss or a ride home.
  6. Be consistent. Nobody likes wishy-washy.
  7. Stay in your lane. If it wasn’t your job, don’t try to do it better.
  8. Notify her husband-to-be and his best man of your plans. We know you’ve got this, but they need to know that they are on stand-by (if they are) if you need them.
  9. Arrange keepsakes for the night for all the guests and one in particular for the bride. A photo collage or a memory book works great.
  10. Don’t be boring. Show up, show off and have the best freaking night of your lives.

With these tips, we know you’re going to be the best bridesmaids ever, vinas!

If you’re in need of some vinas to throw some big day ideas off of, find your next wedding planning crew on Hey! VINA today!